The Baltimore County Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a PTA-funded donation of nearly $30,000 of new playground equipment at Essex Elementary, which is celebrating its centennial this year.

The 100 year old elementary school has been in need of new playground equipment for some time, and the recreational facelift is a gift from the Essex Elementary Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

At the Jan. 8 Board of Education meeting in Towson, Zone 2 Community Superintendent George Roberts sought a motion for the privately funded capital project, which has been fundraising since last year.

“At Essex Elementary, existing playground equipment will be removed and 36 pieces of new equipment will be installed,” Roberts said to school officials, including Interim Superintendent Verletta White. “The new playground equipment will be dedicated as part of the 100th anniversary of Essex Elementary School. The project is being funded entirely by the Essex Elementary PTA and is in line with BCPS policy.”

Roberts said the request had progressed through all the appropriate channels, and the PTA’s donation of $28,540 for playground equipment had been remitted to Essex Elementary School.

Roberts acknowledged several parent supporters in the audience who came to see the measure passed, as well as Essex Elementary Principal Brooke Wagner, Assistant Principal Randy Quinn, PTA President Candy Dean and Vice President Sarah Keihl.

“As a graduate of Essex Elementary, I would like to make the motion,” said a joyous Rodney R. McMillion, recently elected District 7 representative, when seeking approval from the board. The Board unanimously voted to rapturous applause from the public.

District 1 representative Lisa Mack also praised the parent group, as she has also been involved in fundraising efforts for school playground equipment in the past. “I know how hard you worked,” she said. “And i applaud your efforts.”

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