KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Kingsport City Schools leaders voted to enter into a professional services agreement with Barge Design Solutions for the construction of two elementary school playgrounds.
Johnson and Lincoln elementary schools are set to receive updated playgrounds; Johnson Elementary will add a pre-K component to its playground, with total estimated project costs sitting around $150-200,000. The Lincoln Elementary replacement playground has an estimated cost of $500,000.
I view playgrounds as essential classrooms for social, emotional and physical development. It just happens to be that they’re outside…It’s an essential part of being in an elementary school.Board member Jim Welch
Board members expressed concerns surrounding the cost and upkeep of the projects.
“Is it 100% our fiscal responsibility, or is there a way for us to share the costs and make sure that everything is really appreciated,” said Julie Byers.
Johnson Elementary PTA has raised nearly $50,000 to go toward the cost of the pre-K addition, while Lincoln PTA raised over $53,000 for its replacement.
The design of Johnson and Lincoln’s playgrounds will cost nearly $25,000 each.