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Chief Joseph Elementary School playground has safety issues

Chief Jo
Posted at 6:14 PM, Feb 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-06 11:58:06-05

GREAT FALLS — Chief Joseph Elementary School currently has three slides that are boarded up on their playground because they were deemed not safe for kids to play on.



“Based upon insurance walkthroughs and just a general lack of safety,” Andee Thares, Principal of Chief Joseph Elementary School said, “…there is some cracking in our slides that fingers could get caught in. So we've boarded those slides off.”

School officials reached out to connected businesses and the PTA, and so far has raised about $3,300 for new equipment, which is still not enough to cover one new slide. Current estimates for one slide are $4,000 before shipping and installation costs.

“We'd like to do little adjustments like that, little upgrades to start with,” Thares said, “Just so we have a playground for this year that's a little bit more accessible to our students and safe to our students.”

The school’s playground has two sections, with one being older than the other, and while they would love to replace both in the long run, they are focusing on just the individually marked unsafe equipment for now.

“Yes, we would love to replace this old section with time and funding,” Thares said, “But right now it's just the little pieces that we're trying to get to a functional level.”

The school has taken to social media to get the word out and hope to garner community support for the project. Optimistically, Chief Joseph Elementary School would like to have new equipment installed and ready for the next year.

If you are interested in learning more or helping finance the equipment, call Chief Joseph Elementary School at 406-268-6675.