Build Day? Check.

Always so proud to work at Grant School and be a part of this healthy, cooperative community.

Saturday afternoon at about 1:30… picture me sitting in our kindergarten backyard, smiling and sobbing at how beautiful it is.  One of those situations (in hindsight) that might have been quite alarming for a passerby to catch a glimpse of.  Thank goodness it was quiet that afternoon.

We had just spent from January to now working toward this new playground.  The Kinder Team and I worked with Ross Recreation on measuring, design options, decisions about appropriateness, redundancy with other structures on campus, color choices, etc. The PTA Board, Annual Auction Team and I worked toward a dollar amount goal, images to share, how to market this year’s Fund-a-Need, etc.  Then #amazingGrantSchool brought the money in… Barry Pectol mc’d the auction and we met our goal.  Kudos to the Kinder Team for pledging some of their own money to the project.

Screenshot 2013-07-23 at 10.34.15 AM

Then the real work began.  Finalizing design, measurements and color.  A timeline for removal of old, install of new and final insurance inspections.  Working with Ross Rec, our District Grounds folks, District Accounting folks, parent volunteers and ADA guidelines.  I came across this tweet by Justin Tarte this morning and was motivated to write this post.  In this instance I would make a slight modification (hope @justintarte doesn’t mind): If not now, then when… if not us, then who?~Don’t wait for someone else… we are the someone else.  It took a myriad of we’s and us’s to pull this off.  And we first had to overcome the inertia of the old structure.  If not now, then when?  Indeed.

Old Structure

Old Structure

You see we were grandfathered-in to old ADA requirements and once we touched the area, it was going to be whole-hog.  Now the inspection has yet to happen, so cross your fingers we got it right.  That’ll be a whole different post.

So I had a few parents supporting my non-builder skills along the way.  They each talked me off the ledge more than once.  Especially when the structure’s build binders began to arrive.  OMG.  What have I gotten myself into?!?!

And of course, Grant School-style, we opted for a Community Build.  Ross Rec thinks (and I agree) that if you use community fundraising, you should come full circle and host a Build Day during which the community participates.  It was post-Build Day that brought me to tears.

Let’s back up a bit to Google Summit weekend.  One of my right-hand-dads had generously offered to coordinate some hole digging.  Awesome.  Well, I was in Redwood City mid-keynote when my phone rang.  Equipment was locked in a classroom, the electric outlets seemed to be locked and my custodian who kindly let them all in the kindergarten yard had already departed campus.  Uh-oh.  So I got on the phone to anyone I could think of with district keys… yes, Sunday morning at about 8:30am.  Were they happy to hear from me?  Not sure.  But help arrived in the form of a weekend security person who our Grounds Supervisor called.  Thank you Julia!  Hole digging?  Check.

Then came Build Day.  I had about 10-15 people coming for all or part of the day.  I had food, sunscreen, binders of plans, tools, extension cords, name tags and some beautiful pieces of playground equipment.  Ross Rec sends a Build Supervisor, Dave.  Every project should come with a Dave.  He was, incidentally, one of the folks who talked me off the ledge earlier when the old structure was being removed.  Thanks Dave.

So work began at 8am… and to make a long story short, we were cleaning up at noon.  Yes!  Noon!  Amazing.  It’s not a huge structure and we had just the right amount of folks to keep everyone busy and feeling needed.  I even had to call the afternoon and evening crew to say Thanks but no thanks, we’re done.

We cleaned, straightened, admired our work and packed up to return to our families.  I lingered and admired our work a bit more.  Then got weepy.  The project isn’t done–pea gravel to order and add to a small digging, excavating area, fiber chips to add, an inspection to pass… but for now, I felt a huge sense of relief, accomplishment and love for our school.  We did it.  Sniff Sniff

New Structure–mid Build Day

Future Post: The 100% Finished Product

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