Community-built: Residents, businesses get behind new Sublimity play area

November, 2016 Posted in Community, School
Sublimity’s new covered area gives middle schoolers a play for recreation during inclement weather.

Sublimity’s new covered area gives middle schoolers a play for recreation during inclement weather.

By Mary Owen

Sublimity School students now have a new play area, thanks to the hard work of parents and community members.

“The desire to construct a covered area at the middle school has been a discussion at the Sublimity Parent Teacher Club meetings for several years,” said Andy Gardner, superintendent of the North Santiam School District.

“The need was obvious but the amount of funding required and plan of attack was unclear. PTC decided this last year that there was no better time than now to make this thought a reality. So the PTC, together with Sublimity City Council members and NSSD advisors, put together a plan for the type of building we wanted, we estimated the costs, and then set our fundraising goal.”

Gardner said the district enlisted the help of Bonnie Milletto, a former Stayton/Sublimity Chamber of Commerce member and current motivational speaker, to help the district with its fundraising efforts and call to action among the community. Milletto donated her time to become the fundraising advisor and fundraising auction emcee.

“Having lived in the Stayton/Sublimity area for 14 years, it was a joy to come home and work with Stacey Hollenbeck, Sublimity School PTC, school officials, the students and community members to make this happen,” Milletto said. “The support from near and far to construct the covered area for our kids (in) Sublimity  was tremendous.”

After hearing about the scope of the project, Milletto thought it great to involve students and community members in telling the story of the need for the play area. With her guidance and support, and in keeping with the home-grown theme, Regis High School students captured the voices of the community in a video that was shown at recent fundraising auction, among other money-raising options.   

“Sublimity’s PTC applied for community grants and held a very successful dinner and auction,” Gardner said. “With the generous support of the parents and community members at the auction, we were able to exceed our fundraising goal and start progressing toward construction.”

The district received a $5,000 grant from the Freres Foundation and another $5,000 from an anonymous donor, in addition to in-kind pledges from Emery and Sons Construction, Rocky Mountain Electric, and HP Civil Engineering, Gardner said.

“We were able to start excavation and prep work in July and construction in mid-August,” he said. “The structure and concrete flatwork were completed just as school started.”

Students have been positive about their new structure, calling it “cool.” One former student said in a fundraising video that students would be in a safer environment with the advent of the structure.

“Students are now able to enjoy it, but our intent is that not only will Sublimity students benefit from it, but so will a multitude of others such as area sports programs, after-school care programs and such,” Gardner said. “None of this would happen without dedicated parents and outstanding community support.”

Milletto found it heartwarming to see the Stayton/Sublimity communities coming together to support “what matters most.”

“This shelter will now benefit many people and programs within the community, such as YMCA sports programs, and Santiam Youth Sports programs, in addition to providing the much-needed covering for students in inclement weather,” she said.

Gardner said the project would not have come into being without the efforts of Stacy Hollenbeck.

“Over the last year, she has been the leader who spearheaded the project, sought out the partners, and made it happen,” he said.

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