On a day when it was too wet to play outside, the students at Red Hawk Ridge Elementary celebrated the grand opening of their new play area with a ribbon cutting ceremony in their gymnasium. Third-grader Brady Baksay, one of the school’s Aurora Scholars, wielded the scissors to the cheers of his classmates, as Principal Mike Wurdeman declared the new Red Hawk Ridge play area officially open.
“This new field will have a lasting impact for years to come,” Wurdeman said.
The new play area, located on the west side of the school adjacent to the Cherry Creek Corridor Open Space, was a joint project of the Parker Jordan Metropolitan District (PJMD) and the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD). The PJMD contributed $660,000 to fund the project, which includes two shade structures with picnic tables, a ramp with wheelchair access and a series of planters, a covered amphitheater and an artificial turf field with updated drainage features.
“The old field was affectionately known as ‘the swamp,’” Wurdeman said, noting that the area is adjacent to the flood plain and previously had drainage problems that often made it unusable. “We are so happy that PJMD and CCSD worked together to create an amazing outdoor space for not only the students at Red Hawk Ridge, but the larger community.”
“A small corner of the world is a much better place today because of the collaboration and hard work of many individuals,” said Bill Lamberton, PJMD president. “This is truly an example of school community cooperation.”
Red Hawk Ridge, which serves 680 students, is the only school in the PJMD, and is also a community resource for residents and taxpayers. The play area improvements were designed by Consilium Design, the landscape artist working for PJMD. After review and approval by CCSD, the project was bid and the low bidder was Designscapes of Colorado.