Home Depot associates build new playground

by Sonja J. Keith

Conway students at one elementary school will enjoy a new playground when they return to school next month.


The new equipment is courtesy of Home Depot associates.

About 35 volunteers – many of them Home Depot employees – worked on the playground last week, tearing out old equipment and building new. Conway store manager John Strachan said in addition to a donated $1,000 Home Depot gift card, merchandise was donated from different stores for the project. He added that the playground equipment was being built from scratch, not from a kit.

“I live in the neighborhood and both of my children went to school here,” Strachan said, adding that one of his associates has children who now attend the school. She spoke with the principal and a decision was made to refurbish the space.

Colorspot, a Home Depot vendor, also donated materials for a flower bed at the school.

There are eight stores in the district that took on the playground project – Little Rock (2), North Little Rock, Benton, Jonesboro, Cabot, Batesville and Conway. “We do this a lot,” Strachan said of Home Depot’s community involvement. “It’s all volunteer. No one is getting paid for this.”

According to Strachan, the playground was built in 1956 and the equipment was outdated. He said the new equipment will include ramps to accommodate special needs students. “We tore in all down and re-did everything,” he said.

This is the second time that Home Depot has provided a new playground at Ida Burns, according to Strachan. He pointed out that the company was involved four years ago in replacing another playground on campus.

“I feel privileged to work for a company that allows us to do this,” Strachan said. “My company is giving back to the community.”