Students in Columbus State University's Servant Leadership program are trying to raise money to build a playground for children with disabilities behind the Columbus Public Library.
The program's 2011 senior class project, called the "Bridging the Gap Community Playground" is on a ballot of nationwide projects vying for $250,000 in the monthly Pepsi Refresh Challenge.
Online voting runs through November. To vote for the playground project, participants can text "104092" to the number 73774 or vote on Pepsi Refresh website. The money is awarded to the two projects with the most votes at the end of the month.
The contest entry is part of the students' efforts to raise $600,000 for the playground, which will be open to children with and without disabilities. Features could include climbing walls, elevated sands tables, a playweb for net climbing, all-weather electronic games and fake dinosaur bones, in addition to traditional playground equipment.
The plans also call for twin wheelchair-accessible ramps, plus surfacing to accommodate wheelchairs. The electronic play elements involve children running or wheeling to and from various spots.
The proposed project could open in May 2011.
The Muscogee County School Board approved the playground’s location on school district grounds and will monitor and maintain the site with seed money raised by the CSU students.
Besides voting for the project online, community members or organizations also can support the effort by purchasing equipment or a puzzle piece to a commemorative marker to recognize project donors. Equipment donors also will be cited on project markers at or near the equipment piece.
For more information or to contribute to the Bridging the Gap Community Playground, call 706-507-8773 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.