LOST CREEK, W.Va. (WV News) — Lost Creek Elementary School formally dedicated its new playground Monday in a ceremony with students, staff and donors.
Leading the effort to install the playground was Jason Drummond, manager of gas operations for Berkshire Hathaway Energy in Lost Creek and Lewis County.
“It was in October of last year that I received a phone call from Jason saying they wanted to provide us a playground, and I can tell you that was an exciting phone call,” said Laura Trent, principal of Lost Creek Elementary.
“So began the process of meeting, looking at the site, at playground equipment and even visiting other schools’ playgrounds. Jason has been awesome to work with and has a heart for making sure our students have a great place to play,” Trent said.
Drummond was present at Monday’s ceremony and was happy to see the multi-year process bear fruit.
“It’s all about the kids. We’ve seen today how much enjoyment they’re going to get out of this and how important it is for the community,” Drummond said. “This was a multi-year process. We started out working with the high school, and then we found out that they were lacking some playground equipment, so it took about two years.”
Lowe’s Operation Firm Handshake donated the benches and picnic tables that will be placed around the playground.
The Harrison County Board of Education and Lost Creek Elementary Parent Teacher Association (PTA) donated the pavilion near the playground.
In a way, this playground represented the last step to make the move from the old Lost Creek Elementary feel complete, according to Jimmy Lopez, assistant superintendent for operations and facilities.
“This kind of finishes off the move from the Lost Creek community over there into the new school. It gives them a place they feel like they’re at home and it’s a fantastic facility. ... This is probably one of the better playgrounds in the county now,” Lopez said. “I know our maintenance department’s (Director of Maintenance) Danny Dennison did a great job of facilitating with the gas company.”
Trent also thanked Dennison and county school staff among others for their work leading up to the completion of the playground, such as the Lost Creek Local School Improvement Council and Lost Creek Elementary PTA.
“They have worked tirelessly to help prepare this site, put in ditches and culverts, drains, bringing in the pea gravel, the edging, doing site work. Danny always has a lot on his plate, and he’s always willing to help in whatever way he can,” Trent said. “They are a terrific, dedicated group of people to work with. Our students will be enjoying the playground and pavilion for years to come. We have an awesome staff, amazing students and wonderful families here at Lost Creek.”
On top of getting a shiny new place to spend their recess, Trent noted that she feels this effort will serve as a great lesson for her students.
“This morning our children learned about gratitude. While we are incredibly grateful for the gift of this playground, most importantly, we are grateful for the example of generosity this project provides for our students,” Trent said.
“They are also learning about how to give back, and I believe it is through our example that we laid the foundation for our children to grow up understanding the meaning of generosity and gratitude and how to be the difference makers of the future,” Trent said.