Welcome to our latest playground update!
Thank you to all our wonderful donors listed below!
Playground Construction Update:
- After a quiet final week of January, our construction crews will begin the demolition of the current playground on Monday, February 6th, weather permitting. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and the noise, and thank you for your patience and understanding.
- If you would like to learn more about how we got to this point, click here to check out the full version of the article we published in The Swarthmorean on January 27th.
FALL UPDATE: CADES Inclusive Playground Transformation
After years of planning, we are going to begin construction of our new inclusive playground and sound garden! We will continue to fundraise over the next few months so we can complete the project, but have decided that our individuals, staff, and our communities should not wait any longer! Above you will find a brief FAQ with relevant information around timelines, agreements, accessibility, and other considerations, as well as contact information for any questions or concerns.
We cannot wait to share this playground with everyone, and will continue to update you here with any new information. In the meantime, please consider donating so that we can complete this project and get everyone playing at CADES again this Spring!
It has been a busy few weeks here at CADES as we continue to raise funds to bring our playground back! Thank you to everyone who attended Quizzo at Ship Bottom last week! A few hours of trivia helped us raise almost $1000. We are also so grateful to Maura Rubley, a resident in Swarthmore who organized a Halloween block party that raised another $1500. Along with the donations we received on our website, we have raised another $3202 since our last update two weeks ago.
We have now received over $15000 from our community since launching this campaign, and thank all of the people whose names you see below for helping us get to our goal in bringing this playground back to our community!
Use the red button above to make a donation now!
This week we raised $10,991.70 to bring our playground back, giving us a total of approximately $12,000 since we kicked off our community campaign a few weeks ago. This week, we want to shout out our incredible Parent-Teacher Organization Representative and Transition Program stalwart Linda Tucker, whose Designer Bag Bingo event back in the spring also raised over $10,000.
In that same vein, people from our community have reached out to organize events on our behalf, which we are so grateful for, including a Halloween-themed block party organized by a parent who is dedicated to helping us bring our playground back, Quizzo at Ship Bottom next week, and be on the lookout for an amazing event at WaR3house 3 in November!
You can help us by taking the time to attend these events if you are available, and of course, make a donation! If you have ever enjoyed our CADES playground, please help us bring it back.
We had a busy week, attending the Swarthmore Fun Fair, coming out in support of HEADstrong, and planning for our mural unveiling (check out our events page)!
In the week since our last update, we have raised over $2,000 from our community, which includes donations made to us online and donations made during the Swarthmore Fun Fair! We are beyond grateful, and you can see here the names of those who are already helping us in our effort to bring our playground back!
For this week’s update, we have a clip from a recent meeting we had with our GCMS parents, where our CEO Julie Alleman laid out exactly how our playground will live up to its “inclusive” name. We hope you enjoy!
Hello Friends of CADES –
CHECK OUT A VIDEO RENDERING OF THE EQUIPMENT WE WILL BE BRINGING TO THE NEW INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND WE WANT TO BRING TO OUR COMMUNITY!
Pretty sweet right! Welcome to our latest playground transformation update! In addition to giving an inside look at what we are planning for the new playground based on the feedback we received from our surveys and focus groups, we also want to give you an update on how close we are to getting there!
As of this update, our Development Team has been able to raise over $800,000 towards our new Inclusive Playground project, which includes grants from generous foundations, donations from our board of directors, some local businesses and vendors, CADES employees, as well as some families, and friends of individuals who participate in our programs, just to name a few!
With a target of just over $1 Million, we will continue to fundraise, but we believe that with at least $50,000 from families and friends, both locally and beyond, we will have enough money to begin construction in the spring and open our new playground to the community in the summer!
If you would like to donate, please click the link above. Anything that you can give would be greatly appreciated!
Each week, we will provide an update on this webpage with our progress towards that $50,000 goal, along with any new renderings and updates, as well as recognize all of the support you are providing both here and on our social media accounts.
Thank you again for your support!
Tune in next week!
What has happened:
- The “useful life” for playground surfaces and equipment is 15 to 20 years.
- The decision was made in October to close the playground because we could no longer patch the playing surface, and multiple pieces of equipment needed to be replaced.
Timelines & Detours
- We originally hoped to have the playground updated by late spring of this year and an official opening by September 2022.
- However, the biggest challenge that we are encountering is the effects that the supply chain slowdowns have had on the shipment dates of any new playground equipment, thus affecting when we would be able to begin the work of building the new playground.
- Our original goal to purchase equipment by June 1st will result in best-case scenario delivery sometime in mid-October, too late to pour and cure the playground surface after the equipment has been installed.
- Our new timeline: install and opening between May – August 2023.
- Playground equipment has evolved significantly in the past 20 years. The play structure and numerous pieces of equipment will encourage inclusive play, where 2-4 children of all abilities can play together at the same time.
- Our new playground will include:
- A new play design, with ramps to mobilize to multiple places, high and low, and all around the main structure.
- Launch pads for individuals to transition from wheelchair to the play structure.
- Multiple (10+) inclusive play components.
- A quiet playground, separate from the main play area for those who prefer less stimulation, need a place to warm up or a place to cool down.
- A music garden! Yes! A new play space will be constructed to the right of the building with outdoor musical instruments that are part of a sensory garden for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic stimulation.
- The adapted basketball court (back by popular demand!)
- Shade to block direct sun in key areas of the playground (i.e. adapted swing area)
- The playground renovation will cost just over $1 million to complete, and since November, we are almost three quarters of the way there!
- There will be a number of community fundraising activities coming up in the spring. Please be on the lookout for:
- Social Media campaigns designed to help us meet our financial goal.
- Invitations to events hosted by CADES and GCMS Parent Group coming spring and fall (such as Designer Bingo on May 21st!)
- Community events in Wallingford, Swarthmore, Springfield, Media, Broomall, and Ridley, as well as through the Swarthmore Rec Association, to raise funds through the thousands of families who have played at the CADES Playground over the past 15 years.
- Do you have personal or professional connections to local small businesses or larger corporations that are philanthropic? Share your contact information with our Director of Development Jessie Robinson (Jessie.firstname.lastname@example.org)!
- We have sought out and received essential feedback from GCMS staff focus groups, using the subject-matter expertise of occupational, physical, behavioral, vision, and speech therapists, paraeducators, teachers, and administrators to make recommendations for what equipment and design would provide BIG impact.
- Our structural engineer, Nick Cirilli, of Cirilli Associates, who is more than just a “vendor,” with decades of experience supporting building projects at CADES, has completed the environmental site survey, which is now in the hands of our playground equipment vendor.
- Using the feedback from our focus groups as well as the site survey, our playground equipment vendor will be preparing a first draft of both of our playground areas, which will then undergo another round of feedback.
Interim Plan for Play
- We know this delayed opening is disappointing to say the least, and we share that feeling.
- Beginning in the spring, we will be working closely with staff to provide opportunities to get outside as well as create temporary outdoor play activities.
- We will continue to update you as decisions, events and picture renderings become available (click the link above to see the summary of our inclusive playground plan). We recognize the continued sacrifice the playground closure means to you and your family. We will do everything we can to make it worth the wait 😊.