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Thorntons Ferry School accessible playground finished

By LORETTA JACKSON - Telegraph Correspondent | Sep 24, 2022

Thorntons Ferry School students, staffers and guests recently celebrated the grand opening of an expanded, modern playground showcasing state-of-the-art structures designed to be inclusive for all within the student body, children ages 5-12.

Saluted at the Sept. 9 event were those who raised $122,000 for the project, along with Merrimack School District personnel and reps from contributinhg charitable organizations. Landscape design and site work are masterful.

Chad White, a Bangor, Maine, installer for New Jersey’s MRC Recreation / GameTime, over three weeks with some days nearing 100 degrees, erected the well-engineered structures. Sales pro Travis Armes, of Shirley, Massachusetts, preceded him. The firm of more than 40 years is renowned for designing and building commercial playgrounds, Ninja workout gauntlets, fitness spas and more.

Thorntons Ferry School Playground Committee Co-chairs Kim Desmarais and Rachel Paepke, each a Merrimack parent, launched the festivities with a ribbon cutting beneath an arch of blue and white balloons — TFS “Hawks” team colors. Kids then scrambled to swing on, jump upon or climb aboard the new playthings.

“We have heartfelt gratitude for all the volunteers who give so much to make our community a great place to live,” said School Board Chair Laurie Rothhaus.

Paepke shared that she had a “deep appreciation for everyone that made this project come to life.”

Meanwhile, Desmaras added the committee’s thanks to Julie DeLuca, principal, Brooke Ross, assistant principal, TFS parents, staff and community business leaders, along with the school district and Town Trustees.

“Rachel and I will always be grateful for all of their contributions,” Desmarais said. “The gift to Thorntons Ferry School will be enjoyed by children for many years to come.”

Information on Thorntons Ferry School, 134 Camp Sargent Road, in Merrimack, can be had online: sau26.org. Calls are welcome: 603-889-1577.


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