Community pitches in: Ludlow school gets new playground, thanks to volunteers

LUDLOW — Several members of the community can look at the new playground equipment at Ludlow Grade School and tell themselves, “I did that.”

Volunteers gathered Friday and Saturday to help install the equipment with the aid of an official from the company that sold it to the school.

Mike Cederlund of Team Reil estimated there were 12-15 volunteers who turned out Friday to help with the build and about the same number Saturday, with half of the workers being new to the job the second day.

“Things went great,” Cederlund said. “We wrapped up about noon on Saturday.”

The community build lost a couple of volunteers Friday when they had to answer a fire call in town.

All told the playground installation took about eight hours.

Cederlund said he helps with about 25 of the community builds each year. He wears a couple of hats with his company. His day job is vice president of sales.

Team Reil began offering the installation assistance about 15 years ago to make it more affordable for schools and communities.

“We found a need of some towns not being able to find or hire reliable playground installers, and so we decided this would be an approach we would do to make it more affordable ... and to make sure it’s installed correctly,” Cederlund said.  

He estimated the Ludlow equipment will last 30-40 years.

Miracle Recreation of Monett, Mo., manufactured the equipment. Cederlund said the equipment installed at the Ludlow school is the “primary playground equipment” the company has been manufacturing since 1927.

The community builds also have a residual effect. They provide a greater sense of community for those helping with the projects, and they often lead to community builds in other areas of the town.

“I would say about half of our community builds lead to another build in the same community,” Cederlund said.

Ludlow Grade School Superintendent Dru Lobmaster, who was not at school Monday, said she likes what she has seen of the equipment from photos sent to her.

“It looks fabulous,” Lobmaster said. “We just waited for something like that for the longest time, and so when the grant come out, it was the perfect opportunity to put in a community project like this.”

Ludlow Grade School paid for the project from a state of Illinois $25,918 Healthy Community Investment grant.


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