A suspected group of vandals hit the Otsego Elementary School playground earlier this week, causing minor damage to the facility but hitting a nerve in the community after so many residents, businesses and school supporters have pitched in over the past five years to refurbish the playground.
A letter was sent out by Otsego Elementary Principal Todd VanErp earlier this week stating the school was working with local authorities, including the Wright County Sheriff’s Office, to find suspects who strung up swings and tire swings, tipped over garbage cans and caused damage on the playground.
The playground equipment update is in “Phase Two”of fundraising, as the school staff and parent association looks to re-position equipment and add a new, spinning swing.
That phase is expected to cost more than $10,000. To date, several businesses and individuals have donated nearly $4,000 for the project, according to the school’s website.
Here’s the letter sent to parents, obtained by North Wright County Today:
Early on Tuesday, May 13 (around 12:15 AM), unidentified individuals managed to cause the following mess and damage to our playground:
– wrapped the swings around the top bar of the swing set so that students could not reach the swings
– wrapped the tire swing around the top bar of the tire swing set so that it would be dangerous for students to get the tire off the top of the swing set
– pulled the garbage cans off the fence and dumped them in the playground area
– damaged the bike rack
– put benches from the ball field on the field porta potty
While the mess and damage are able to be fixed, it is extremely disheartening to arrive at school and see the disrespectful and intentional acts on a playground that so many people have worked hard to improve over the past two years. If anyone has information regarding this incident, please contact me at 763-241-3495. Thank you!
Dr. Todd J. Van Erp, Principal