WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - A Wichita Falls ISD school will have a new playground for all its students.
The new playground project at Booker T. Washington Elementary was part of a vision by Principal Mark Davis when he took the position almost two years ago.
He first brought in 27 new staff members, then bought computers for every classroom.
When he took over there were only three computers in the computer lab. Now there are 21. He bought new mats for the gym and is finishing the last piece of the puzzle, a new playground for all ages.
"Just to see the joy in the kids' faces, the joy in their eyes, the sparkle in their eyes, it's priceless," Principal Davis said.
The old playground was built almost 30 years ago. It has faced its share of bumps and bruises but it also gives them back.
"Our students and their safety and welfare are always the most important first," Principal Davis said.
Christopher Evans, the school's At-Risk Coordinator, said they researched every other WIFSD playground for comparison.
"They don't know what they don't have," Evans said. "We keep that between adults and we make the best of what we do have. We understood it was a priority for our kids to have what other students in the district have."
Evans said only pre-K and kindergarten students can play in the old one because it is too small for the older kids. He said he only had the second through fifth graders play there once in his three-year career at Booker T. Elementary.
"They got hurt," Evans said. "They got cut right over here on some of the plastic [on the stairs of a slide]. I haven't brought my kids back to the playground."
Evans created a video to ask the public for donations and it helped raise around $30,000. The money came from KaBoom grants and community donations from charity groups like Leadership Wichita Falls.
Evans said cannot wait to see the kids reaction once it is built.
"Oh man, I can only imagine," Evans said. "I can only imagine."
Principal Davis said he expects the project to be complete by this summer.