By Adrian Escobedo (Sophomore)
Hayt Elementary students are set to receive a $900,000 turf field at the end of the summer where students would be able to practice their desired sport.
Presently, the condition of the playground equipment is poor as the wood train that used to be long is now cut in half because of its condition. The swing set is rusting and the soft platform that protects children when they fall is peeling off, exposing the children to cement. The principal of Hayt Elementary, Daniel Gomez, had been working for two years to get the playground renovated. The playground will be destroyed on June 25 and the park will be moved to the West Side of the school along with the trees, lights, and the fountain.
The playground is around 15-20 years old and the 48th Ward Education Liaison, Karen Dreyfuss noticed. “The Alderman and I came with Mr. Gomez to see the playground and saw that it was aging,” Dreyfuss said.
In addition to the new playground, there will be a turf soccer field built where the playground is located. In the Edgewater neighborhood, there aren’t many soccer fields and the renovation of the playground created the chance for a soccer field.
“Many surrounding schools like Pierce and Goudy have turf fields,” said Gomez. He believes that it is time for Hayt to get one as well.
Parent Volunteer and LSC Representative, Laurie Hasbrook, agreed with Mr. Gomez. “I feel like our public schools should have the same resources that any school anywhere in the area has,” Hasbrook said.
There are many soccer players at Hayt Elementary, and many come out early in the morning, after school, and on the weekends to play soccer. The students from Hayt Elementary play soccer on the cement floor and risk injury.
“It is unsafe because it is uneven and it’s just a mud pit,” Hasbrook said.
Once the turf field is built,” Dreyfuss said, “the school would have a good and safe spot to practice school sports.”
On a related issue, Gomez said, “ We want to separate the older kids from the little kids so they can be safe.”
Because of this, Hayt Elementary was led into a two year planning to make the turf field. The cost is massive, but it will be beneficial for the school and students.
Hasbrook really thinks this turf field will be beneficial for the students.
“It’ll allow kids to have some top notch soccer instructions and will also allow them to have an even greater experience and physical education,” Hasbrook said.