$25,000 grant for a new playground from the Pepsi Refresh Project. One week ago they were excited to see their project vault into the top 10, eventually climbing to No. 1 with four days worth of voting left.
Click to see a copy of the McHenry proposal.
Today, one can only imagine the excitement that must be flowing through the school building after McHenry’s idea managed to finish the month in the top 10, claiming one of the grants awarded to each of those finishers. Voting ended at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, and McHenry was holding on to the top position as the contest drew to a close.
Click to see a video of activity at the current McHenry Primary School playground.
Today the rankings are final, and although Pepsi won’t declare the positions official for another two weeks, McHenry teacher Penny Pryor has already started working on the process to claim the school’s check.
“This will mean a lot,” said Pryor of the new equipment the grant will fund, “because we don’t have a piece of playground equipment that has ramps, and we have a lot of children in wheelchairs or in walkers, and this way they can roll up on the piece and there are drums and there are noise makers and things they can do.”
When voting kicked off for the contest, McHenry’s idea was ranked in the 200s, but once the community got behind the effort, the ranking changed in a hurry. Pryor credits the local media coverage, as well as area colleges, schools, hospitals and the Rome Braves for spreading the word and lending their daily support. In total, votes were cast for McHenry from 26 states and four countries.
Plans call for an 18-year-old wooden structure on the campus to be taken down and hauled off in later September or early October. Pryor said the new structure should be constructed and ready for play less than a month after that.
She had already collected about $7,000 for the project from local businesses and drew other small grants, so the playground the school will construct should be bigger and better than the one called for in the original plans.