PME Playground Update

Insurance will pay to replace the popular playground at Pine Meadow Elementary School that was set on fire and destroyed July 5, Sartell-St. Stephen Superintendent Joe Hill said.

The playground equipment had been a popular play site for children and families. The melted plastic and charred steel have been removed, leaving just a nearby swing set.
 
The district has received inquiries from people interested in making a donation to help replace the equipment, Hill said.
 
"Our insurance company will be paying for not only the equipment but the labor in the installation," Hill said.
 
The district already has sought bids for the playground equipment, and companies can submit bids until Thursday. School board members are expected to approve a bid this month and installation could start before August.
 
The district plans to have the playground replaced by the start of school in September. The replacement cost is estimated at $100,000.
 
"We are on an aggressive timeline. We have a number of students and families that have high expectation of the district coming through," Hill said.
 
The fire started about 3:30 p.m. July 5. Police say a 13-year-old boy used a lighter to ignite the playground, which had rubber and plastic materials at its base for safety. That contributed to the strength of the fire. Smoke could be seen from the nearby neighborhoods along Pinecone Road.
 
The boy could be charged, Sartell police said last week.
 
Written by:  Dave Aeikens, St. Cloud Times