Students at O’Loughlin Elementary will be greeted with brand-new playground equipment when classes start, the culmination of three years’ effort by the school’s parent-teacher association.

The $62,350 project includes the installation, begun this week, by Cunningham Recreation, of Charlotte, N.C.

“It has been a long three years. We are very excited to be where we are,” Alicia Cunningham, co-chair of the O’Loughlin Parent Teacher Association, told the Hays USD 489 school board at its July 22 meeting.

“I first want to make it known that we were only able to pull this off finally because Heartland Community Foundation awarded us a $10,000 grant. I just want to thank them because without that we would still be raising money,” she said.

O’Loughlin Principal Vicki Gile said the previous equipment was in need of replacement.

“We have one piece that is definitely getting to the point where it’s not sustainable as far as fixing anything that’s breaking on the piece,” she said.

USD 489 grounds and buildings crews prepared the site, such as removing existing mulch and leveling the ground.

The new equipment’s color scheme is red, blue and yellow, matching the school’s colors.

“One of the great things with the pieces we chose, it’s going to come with a curriculum that can be used by the physical education instructor if they choose. It’ll have lots of programs where they can use that to supplement and do outdoor activities with the kids,” Cunningham said.

The equipment is ADA compliant, and also includes a chair and swing for children with special needs.