ULM — When Ulm School students came back to class on August 25th, it wasn’t just their classmates and teachers that greeted them - they also had some new playground equipment.
On the first day back, the ribbon was cut on Blue Hawk Park, the school’s new playground. The school’s previous playground equipment was donated about 20 years earlier and in need of an upgrade.
“We got a couple of people on board. I talked to Barb Byrne and she instantly came up with half of the payment for it and the community rallied right behind her and got it paid off and we had it within the year,” said Russ McDaniel, Ulm School Principal.
The park cost $65,000. Ground was broken in May, and construction took place throughout the summer.
With new monkey bars, bridges, and slides, the park is getting rave reviews from students who know a thing or two about quality playground equipment.
When asked her favorite part about the new playground, one third-grader replied, “Everything, because it’s gigantic!
Another student said she likes the new equipment because its bigger than the old playground with more room to play.
The timing was also a plus, as the school welcomed about 15 more kids than usual this year.
The new equipment serves as a playground for kids and a shining light for the community.
“The kids just absolutely love it,” said McDaniel. “There’s a lot of things going on in the world and right here in Ulm there's a ton of kindness and we need more of that.”
McDaniel says the playground equipment is built to last. He says the company that installed the equipment, Montana School Equipment Company, will check back about every two years for maintenance.
McDaniel says funding can be a challenge for rural school districts. Ulm’s Academic Booster Club (ABC) is a parent support group that helps with school needs. The club is conducting a beef raffle; call the school at 406-866-3313 for more information.
(MAY 29, 2021) Friday was the last day of the school year for Ulm students, but it was just the beginning of fun times to come.
In front of 90 excited kids, ground was officially broken for their new Blue Hwk Park.
The community raised roughly $65,000 for the project.
Principal Russ McDaniel thanked the board for allowing the park to happen, as well as the generous folks who donated the funds needed.
Turning the shovels for Friday's groundbreaking were Barb Byrne who got the ball rolling with a $30,000 donation, school board chair Andrea Cordeiro, school board vice chairman Kory HastingS, and ABC Club President Brittney Calvert.
Construction on the park is expected to begin June 14th.