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Swinging into a new school year

Kids began attending Toliver Intermediate School on Aug. 15, but they got to celebrate another opening this week, when the school’s brand new playground opened.

Sod is still taking root, so the grass is off-limits for now, but kids have taken to the slides and swings like fish to water.

Jennifer Holman, a former Hogsett Elementary School teacher who now teaches fourth grade at Toliver, said her students were big fans when the playground opened Aug. 20.

“They went crazy,” she said. “They loved it.”

In addition to the main playground and the long line of swings, students have two basketball courts to play on.

But Holman said it’s not just the equipment that students are enjoying: “There’s a lot more friends to play with now that we’ve consolidated the schools.”

At a school board meeting held the night after students first played on the playground, board members said they were thrilled with its reception and glad that they opted for additional swings.

“Today, with the opening of the playground, my third-grader was ecstatic and worn out,” board member Lori Finke said, adding that she’s heard positive things from many different people about the opening of the school in general.

“I know there had been a lot of apprehension in the community about the schools coming together,” she said. “… I also want to thank all the people who worked behind the scenes to make it happen, because I know that wasn’t easy. And I know a lot of people have talked about the moving of the boxes and the teachers and all the custodians and everyone who helped make that work. It seemed seamless.”