Elementary School Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to Unveil Redesigned Play Yard

The area includes natural elements to inspire creative play and was a community effort.
On Monday, Feb. 12, the Elementary School community (including K-5 students, faculty, staff and parents) gathered on the redesigned K-5 play yard for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate improvements to the space. (In addition, students in kindergarten and first grade have their own dedicated play yard.) The vision for the redesign was first imagined by parents, alumni and Head of Elementary School Stacey Koff last year. Over the last six months, a dedicated group of community members came together to make it a reality. 

“I’m grateful for the partnership of parents and the hard work of every designer, landscaper and builder who made this come to fruition so incredibly quickly,” said Stacey. “The redesigned play yard has already provided our students a space to play, to hold court at the amphitheater and to sit and ponder while watching the stream flow. I anticipate so much more play, joy and meditation happening out there.”

Stop by the Elementary School campus during any lunch or snack time and you’re sure to see students exploring the updated space. The play yard features a brand-new play structure, complete with a rock wall and two wooden towers joined by a set of monkey bars; a turf area surrounded by trees and native landscaping; a small stream with two bridges and recycled running water; and an outdoor amphitheater for grade-level or community gatherings. In addition, shaded outdoor tables and three mushroom statues provide fun options for seating. 

“I just like how much space there is. There’s a space to do everything, like gymnastics. It’s just so fun having a playground with a lot of space,” said first grader Peyton Bazar. Added classmate Serene Levinson, “I like it because it’s really big and there’s a river that we can go over. It’s really fun.”

Crossroads is grateful to alumna Zooey Deschanel ’98 and her fiancé, Jonathan Scott, who were instrumental in supporting the project and bringing it to life. Since it was officially opened, Elementary School students have been excitedly using the space. From climbing the structure and swinging across its monkey bars to creating imaginary games involving nature, the K-5 play yard is already a favorite spot on campus and surely will be for many years to come.