Playworld donates playground equipment

Playworld has donated $80,000 in playground equipment to the Lewisburg Area School District, Superintendent Mark DiRocco announced Thursday.

LEWISBURG — Playworld has donated $80,000 in playground equipment to the Lewisburg Area School District, Superintendent Mark DiRocco announced Thursday.

The new equipment, an elaborately designed, castle-theme maze of slides, decks and climbing walls, will be erected at the Linntown Elementary School, likely in the next 30 days, Playworld sales director Kevin Cook said.

"There are lots of features that will provide for socialization and dexterity with children," Cook said.

The company will also donate an additional $20,000 in installation costs, to make a total $100,000 donation to the school district.

"We cannot afford to give our kids a playground that would even be a quarter of that," school board President Kathy Swope said, and added that the donation indicates that Playworld is a believer in the future of Lewisburg.

In fact, Linntown elementary School is special in the heart of Playworld President Matt Miller, who, along with his sister, attended the school.

"It's a school that I went to growing up and of course my kids are going to go there and that's one reason we're excited to donate the equipment," Miller said.

The location also is convenient because it is in close proximity to Playworld's headquarters on Route 192 in Buffalo Township, Union County.

"We bring distributors in from around the United States and worldwide and we like to tour our parks in the Lewisburg area and show them what our capabilities are," Miller said. "Linntown is very convenient and it was a playground in need of being refurbished."

Playworld erected the current playground equipment at the school some 15 years ago, Miller said. Once the new play equipment is in place Playworld will photograph the playground for marketing purposes.

"To permanently install it is a little bit more expensive, but it's a way that we get the photos we need and for a little bit extra money we're able to leave the equipment for the school," Miller said.

In addition to the Linntown playground, in 2005 the company donated about $500,000 worth of equipment to the Lewisburg Area Recreation Park, known as the St. Mary Street Park.

"We believe the world needs play," Cook said. "Play is something we all do no matter what age. You can't think about participating in play without getting a better feeling in your heart and a smile on your face. It's something we all do."

As it did with the Lewisburg Area Recreation Authority where St. Mary Street Park is concerned, Playworld approached the Lewisburg Area School District for permission to donate and install the equipment.

"It's very gracious on their part to do this," DiRocco said. "It's very nice to have them in our backyard and partnering with the school district.