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Kelly School – Sadly Neglected

September 30, 2013

We have the summer to make good things happen for the children in our care at Kelly School.  With a slab of blacktop, a swing set. and two monkey bars for a playground with no place for soccer, kickball, softball, and capture the flag, we knew play space would be sorely inadequate for our 29 students.  The sagebrush and rocks had to go.  Topsoil would be  needed and eventually grass seed.  With no gym we would definitely need outdoor play space for recess and PE.  The day after school closed, and I left my classroom at the middle school, loaded up my shovel, pick, and wheelbarrow and headed for Kelly School. The superintendent had no intention of keeping his promise to the Kelly School parents to build a wonderful playground for their children.  I would not let it happen.  I decided to spend the summer creating a great playing field for all types of games.  Day after day I dug up rocks and sagebrush and wheelbarrowed it off the site.  Everyday I could see progress being made.  As I worked, I realized I would need lots of topsoil to cover the rough surface containing gravel and small rocks.  While working one day  I heard on the radio work had begun on a Motel 6 to be built just south of town.  I had gotten to know the folks who owned Clark’s Ready Mix and Excavation.  They had the contract to clear the land and build the foundation for the motel.  I went in to see Lew Clark, one of the partners at Clark’s Ready Mix.  He and his wife helped me make contacts during the campaign for the bond issue for the new high school.  I asked Lew what he planned to do with the topsoil they were removing from the motel site.  He said, “Do you want it for the Kelly School playground?”  I told him I would love to have it but had no money to buy it.  He asked me if belly dump trucks could get up on the playground.  I told him they sure could.  He told me the topsoil was mine for Kelly School and there would be no charge.  He made my day.  I had to step up the removal of rock and sagebrush to be ready for huge dump trucks.  I did the removal just in time and will never forget the arrival of the huge belly dumps and watched them drive up the bank west of our two room school, open their bellies and deposit the rich black dirt.  Now my challenge was to rake out the dirt to cover the play area making it as level as possible.  I would get some surprise help to move the tall piles of dirt.  Stay tuned for that surprise and more help from as far away as 1700 miles.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Aaron McKee permalink
    October 1, 2013 6:52 pm

    I am really enjoying this blog! I I loved my days at Kelly 85-90. Can’t wait to find out when the gym gets built, and the sledding hill.

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