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Playground upgrades in Lake Linden

November 13, 2012
By GARRETT NEESE - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

LAKE LINDEN - Lake Linden-Hubbell Elementary School students can keep on swinging through the winter, now on swings with hardier chains.

Maintenance Supervisor Dan LaVergne said the chains had recently been replaced after a check of the playground. The old ones had been showing cracks and rusting.

"We had changed that chain probably four years ago ... and already it had some links breaking," he said. "So we went to a heavier-grade, galvanized link."

Article Photos

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
Lake Linden-Hubbell Public Schools Board of Education members Jeff Dennis, Kathleen Carlton-Johnson, Patricia Burton, Lori Ambuehl and Denise Lepisto listen during the board meeting Monday.

LaVergne said some of the wear and tear is attributable to flipping the swing around the upper bar to shorten it. The swing ends up pivoting on the links, which weaken them.

LaVergne said they changed out the first foot or two of the links for threaded links, which will be swapped out as they wear.

"The rest of the chain is good, it's the spot that wears," he said.

Trustee Kathy Carlton-Johnson asked if the swings could be taken down for the winter to avoid safety issues.

"Nobody's life is going to change if there's not a swing up there, unless the child is hurt, and then we end up with a liability problem," she said.

Superintendent/ Principal Craig Sundblad asked what children would do as an alternative. Elementary Coordinator Brad Codere said students will often play football, basketball, hockey, tag or play on the climbing equipment.

Sundblad said there had never been any safety issues with the swings in winter.

"The issue is what it's doing to the swings," he said. "That's the only issue."

President Patricia Burton said they should leave the swings the way they are.

"We've got heavy-duty chains, and they're not breaking the budget," she said.

In other action, the board:

recognized Lake Linden-Hubbell student-athletes in varsity football, volleyball and junior high girls' basketball.

imposed a summer property tax levy on property within the school district.

approved contracting school social work services from Sherri Heikkinen.

tabled a request to approve a band trip to Nashville, Tenn.

heard from Sundblad the school foundation is starting another technology fundraiser. Goals include purchasing a data projector.

heard an update from Sundblad on the state's new law regarding concussions. Athletic Director Gary Guisfredi said the law mainly affects non-school youth associations, as Michigan High School Athletic Association bylaws are already more stringent.

heard from Sundblad the school's library had received a grant for which it had applied. The grant request included new technology, bookshelves and carpeting. While the grant amount isn't known yet, the original request was for $25,000.



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