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New sidewalks, curbed fall protection installed at Belton ISD elementary school playgrounds

Belton ISD elementary school students are benefiting from playground safety and accessibility upgrades as the new school year gets underway. 


Over the summer break, crews installed sidewalks and curbed fall protection at all elementary schools, making the areas safer and more accessible to all students. According to Belton ISD Assistant Superintendent of Operations Mike Morgan, the curbed fall protection, which consists of a smooth, soft surface, offers several benefits over gravel or mulch, which have traditionally been used in playground areas.


“Students with mobility challenges should see improved accessibility due to the replacement of the existing gravel and mulch with the new surface,” said Morgan. “By installing sidewalks and fall protection, we now have a smooth, level surface. The fall protection also has some bounce to it, so if students do fall or trip, it’s much more cushioned than falling on mulch, gravel or the ground.”


In all, the district spent a total of $2.6 million on the playground updates included in the voter-approved 2022 Bond Program. Morgan said the recent upgrades mark the district's third phase of playground improvements. Previously, the district added canopies and some playground equipment, with fall protection installed around the newer play areas. The 2022 Bond allowed the district to move forward with fall protection and sidewalks at all playgrounds. Additionally, Tarver Elementary will receive a new playscape, and a new playground was installed at the Belton Early Childhood School. Crews also installed turf at the early childhood center’s interior courtyard. “When you are dealing with that many 3, 4, and 5-year-olds, anywhere you can have a play area is handy. We had a hard time with that interior courtyard in the past, as it was hard to get grass to grow and it could get muddy. Now, it can also be used as an outdoor classroom and a playground area.”