El Sierra earns $180,000 grant to build a new playground

El Sierra earns $180,000 grant to build a new playground

New playground expected to open for 2021-22 school year

Downers Grove Grade School District 58 is pleased to announce that El Sierra School will receive a State of Illinois “Build Illinois Bond Fund” grant totaling $180,000 for the construction of a new playground. El Sierra plans to use the grant funding, in combination with the school’s playground fundraising efforts, to build a new playground in time for the 2021-22 school year.

“The El Sierra community is so excited and grateful to receive this grant from the State of Illinois!” said Principal Jason Lynde. “We have worked hard to fundraise for a new playground; thanks to the State’s support, we can finally see it to fruition.”

In 2019, Rep. Anne Stava-Murray advocated for several District 58 schools to receive playground funding through state legislation for capital infrastructure projects. The State earmarked El Sierra as the first District 58 school to receive funding. The project gained momentum last winter when the State authorized District 58 to officially apply for $180,000 to support the El Sierra playground project. The District immediately began preparing the detailed plans and project bids required for this grant. District 58 collaborated with the El Sierra Playground Committee during the design process to ensure that the playground reflected the community’s vision. 

“I am very proud of the dedicated District staff and El Sierra community members who worked hard to design and fundraise for their school’s dream playground, and I am very grateful for the State’s support of this important project,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell. “The new El Sierra playground will give students new imaginative and interactive opportunities for play. It will serve as a major asset to the El Sierra community for many years to come!”

This project will transform El Sierra’s existing two smaller play structures into one larger playground designed for students in grades K-6. The new playground will feature an exciting interactive circuit loop, giving children a variety of fun and engaging activities to enjoy. Construction is anticipated to begin very soon, weather permitting, with the remainder of the work to be completed in spring of 2021.

“I would like to thank our PTA and all of the very generous families over the past years who have helped us raise funds for this project. A very special thanks goes out to Jim Luebbe for his efforts as the chair of our Playground Committee. In addition, State Rep. Anne Stava-Murray advocated for this grant project at the State level,” Lynde said. “Thanks to these efforts, we are well-positioned to build the playground that we have dreamed of having at El Sierra!”

For more information, please contact Megan Hewitt, community relations coordinator, at 630-719-5805 or mhewitt@dg58.org. The attached image is an artistic rendering of what the El Sierra playground will look like.