A Decade in the Making: Grading for New Playground at Hardin Park To Begin Soon

Published Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 2:01 pm

A conceptual rendering of the proposed playground.

By Jesse Wood

Last week, the Parent/Teacher Organization for Hardin Park Elementary School asked the Watauga County Board of Commissioners for grading services and dirt hauling for the construction of a new playground at the school in Boone.

The organization has been raising money for nearly 10 years to build a new playground that would be handicap accessible and now the grading is expected to begin and be finished before winter sets in.

Brian Johnson of the PTO presented before the board last Tuesday and told the commissioners that he expected one or two weeks of grading. The commissioners agreed to allow county forces and equipment on the project and have maintenance staff haul needed dirt from the county-owned landfill to the site of the new playground.

Barberitos 1In response to a question about the “long-term view” from Commissioner Billy Kennedy, Watauga County Schools Supt. Scott Elliott said that school officials did do due diligence in looking at sites for the new playground on the 18-acre site.

Elliott said that the selected spot is “the best place to locate the playground” currently and is still an ideal spot with future expansion or redevelopment of Hardin Park Elementary School in the future.

More than $131,000 has been raised for the new playground.

Johnson told commissioners that one child, who went all the way through Hardin Park beginning with Pre-K and is now moving on to Watauga High School, wasn’t able to enjoy the playground during his or her time at Hardin Park Elementary School.

In a 2014 fundraiser video, a young girl in a wheel chair watches all the other children play as another girl walks up and says, “I wish you could play with us.” An overdub voice then is heard saying: “For 10 years, he’s been at Hardin Park and for ten years he has not been able to ever go out on the playground with his peers. He’s always had to sit on the sideline and watch.”

The next fundraising event takes place at Barberitos, located at 2575 N.C. 105 in Boone, on Friday, Sept. 18, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. A flyer on Hardin Park Elementary School’s website notes that 15 percent of sales will be donated and then matched.

See conceptual drawings attached and funding levels and a list of donors below:

  • Child’s Play ($10-24.99)
  • Pretend ($25-100)
  • Explore ($100.-499.99)
  • Imagine (500-999.99)
  • Discover ($1000-9999.99)
  • Challenge ($10,000 and Up)

A donation to the playground in honor of your teacher makes a wonderful gift! Thank you for your continued support with our fundraising efforts.  We have currently raised $131,415.94!

Child’s Play ($10.00 – $24.99)

  • Aidan & Drew Fankhauser
  • Annie, Joey, & Maggie Veno
  • Kyleigh Ford
  • Dalton Adams
  • Mary Rich
  • Maya Johnston
  • Madelyn Ellis
  • Keith Flowers
  • Olivia Moreno
  • Rosemary Mock
  • Sam Vandenberg
  • Claire McCoy
  • Timothy & Micah Rushing
  • Steven Garcia-Martinez
  • Dalton Coffey
  • Elizabeth Rivera Alcaraz
  • Lydia Rothrock
  • Brielynn Myers
  • Nhu Huynh
  • Sarahi Cervantes Aguilar
  • Frank Veno
  • Madison & Caleb Ogden
  • Christopher Heckle
  • Luo Jing
  • Nathan Bishop
  • Landan & Cassie Pennington
  • Nate & Elizabeth Weigl
  • Sarahi Cervantes Aquilar
  • Claudia Cervantes
  • Robin, Clair and Buck
  • Willie Hayworth
  • Jennifer Hayward
  • Jessica Smith
  • Maddie Greene and Friends

Pretend ($25.00 – $99.99)

  • Jack & Ben White
  • Bailey & Lyndsey Whitehead-Price
  • Clyde Morton
  • The Bertrand Family
  • Denise Lockett
  • Davis Hunt
  • Holden Hartzog
  • Mattie & Katie Mac Greene
  • Alexandra Newmark
  • Rebecca & Gwendolyn Anderson
  • Hardin Park Social Committee
  • Jonathan Lutabingwa
  • Garrett Bagley
  • Melissa Isaacs
  • Antonio Scherlen
  • Cody Talton
  • The Haywood Family
  • Charlotte Crees
  • Jennifer Nystrom
  • Jeffrey & Ryan Collier
  • Sandy Brubaker
  • Hannah Zimmerman
  • The Mellon Family
  • Aidan, Lindsey, & Nora Williams
  • Becca & Kate Yoblinski
  • Ketchel Carey
  • Wanda Henries
  • Cyenna, Carolina, & Brianna Davidson
  • Sam & Matthew Taubman
  • Corey, Zachary & Laurel West
  • Emma Monroe
  • Hugh & Mamie Morton
  • Greg & Claudine Lovins
  • Madelyn & Sullivan Trexler
  • Trey & Courtney Morrison
  • Chanel Frisco
  • Claudia Hooker
  • Scot and Stephanie Sloan
  • Everett Gryder
  • Sweet Frog
  • Tracie Salinas
  • James and Molly Russell
  • Mack Brown Inc.
  • Susan McCracken
  • Oscar Knight
  • Eleanor Dundon
  • Alan and Aaron Mutio
  • Becky & Joel Moretz
  • Alan & Sonya Burchell
  • Fulton Lovin
  • Julianne Bagley
  • Jesse Whitaker
  • The Buzan Family
  • Katie and Herman van Werkhoven
  • Noah van Werkhoven
  • Sofia Wells
  • Jazmine Cowan and the Cowan Family

Explore ($100.00 – $499.99)

  • Luke & Eric Hunter
  • Lisa Cottom
  • Mary Smalling
  • Jack, Sam & Will Byassee
  • Katie Mac & Alice Knight
  • Cailey Haas
  • Curtis Smalling
  • James & Carol Mellon
  • Eleanor Dundon
  • Hunan Chinese Restaurant
  • Laura and David Pace
  • Sharon Whalen
  • Cornerstone Summit Church in honor of Mrs. Smalling
  • Caleb Mutio
  • Jerry Cook – A-1 Vacuum Solutions LLC
  • The Order of Omega Greek Honor Society-ASU
  • Marshall Ashcraft
  • Mike & Jane Campbell

Imagine ($500.00 – $999.99)

  • The Dean Family
  • Bryan and Michaelle Haas & Family

Discover ($1,000.00 – $9999.99)

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
  • Hardin Park PTO
  • Los Arcoiris Mexican Restaurant
  • Jason & Mitzi Triplett
  • Boone Service League
  • Phil & Paula Smalling (In honor of Hardin Park’s support staff)
  • Hardin Creek Timber Frame & Millwork
  • Wells Fargo
  • Jersey Mike’s

Challenge ($10,000.00 and Up)

  • Daniel Kilgore

A thanks to all of the students, parents and staff that placed an “In Honor” donation to help fund our new Monkey Land Playground was listed on the Hardin Park Elementary School website and is listed below:


Donated By:             In Honor Of:

Mary Smalling                                                     Hardin Park Faculty & Staff

Bailey Whitehead-Price                                      Mrs. Roten

Lyndsey Whitehead-Price                                  Ms. Beckley

Clyde Morton                                                       Mrs. Hall

Samantha Bertrand                                             Mrs. Eberle

Nathaniel Honea                                                  Mrs. Presnell-Greene

Griffin Honea                                                        Mrs. Hayes

Davis Hunt                                                           Mrs. Hyler

Aiden Fankhauser                                                Mrs. Shaw & Mrs. McCourry

Drew Fankhauser                                                Mrs. Dallas & Ms. Greene

Holden Hartzog                                                    Mrs. Huffman, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Harvey, Mr. Larick

Luke Hunter                                                          Mrs. Hyler

Eric Hunter                                                           Mrs. Mast-Herring, Mrs. Huffman, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Harvey,                                                                                                                                                      & Mr. Larick

Anna Veno                                                            Mrs. Freeman

Joey & Maggie Veno                                            Mrs. Hall

Kati Mac Greene                                                   Mrs. Myers & Mrs. Shields

Mattie Greene                                                       Mrs. Welsh & Mrs. Bennett

Alexandra Newmark                                             Mrs. Hall, Mrs. Isaacs, Mrs. Smalling

Gwendolyn Anderson                                          Mrs. Krause, Mrs. Cottrell

Rebecca Anderson                                              Mrs. Roten, Ms. Saunders, Mrs. Mohr, Mrs. Rothrock

Kyleigh Ford                                                       Mrs. Varipapa & Mrs. Eppley

Dalton Adams                                                      Mr. Felker, Mr. Hopkins, Mrs. Mast-Herring, Mr. Eggers,                                                                                                                                                          & Mr. Pyles

Jonathan Lutabingwa                                          Mrs. Hall

Garrett Bagley                                                     Mrs. Blackburn

Melissa Isaacs                                                     Hardin Park Administrators & Office Staff

Antonio Scherlen                                                 Mrs. Harvey, Mrs. Huffman, Mrs. Ward, Mr. Larick

Mary Rich                                                            Hardin Park Administrators

Maya Johnston                                                    Mrs. Nash & Mrs. Gilbert

Ann Mellon                                                           Mrs. Shaw

Mark Mellon                                                         Mrs. Lawrence & Mrs. Rothrock

Patrick Mellon                                                      Mrs. Blakeley & Mrs. West

Aidan, Lindsey & Nora Williams                          Mr. Safferstone & Mr. Selle

Aidan Williams                                                    Mrs. Huffman, Mrs Ward, Mrs. Harvey and Mr. Larick

Lindsey Williams                                                 Mrs. Beckley

Nora Williams                                                      Mrs. Lentz

Becca & Kate Yoblinski                                      Mr. Hiatt, Mrs. Smith, & Mrs. Hayes

Becca Yoblinski                                                 Mr. Hiatt, Mrs. Smith, & Mrs. Hayes

Katie Yoblinski                                                   Mrs. Nash & Mrs. Gilbert

Ketchel Carey                                                   Mr. Hiatt, Mrs. Smith & Mrs. Hayes

Wanda Henries                                                 Office Staff

Brianna Davidson                                             Mr. Larick, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Huffman & Mrs. Harvey

Carolina Davidson                                             Mrs. Saunders

Sienna Davidson                                               Mrs. Blackburn

Cailey Haas                                                       Mr. Hiatt, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Hayes and all Exploratory Teachers

Claire McCoy                                                     Mr. Hiatt, Mrs. Smith, & Mrs. Hayes

Timothy Rushin                                                 Mrs. Roten

Micah Rushin                                                    Mrs. Lentz

Sam & Matthew Taubman                                 Mrs. Isaacs, Mrs. Smalling, Mrs. Allain, Mrs. Huffman, Mr. Larick, Mrs. Ward, & Mrs. Harvey

Zachary West                                                   Mr. Hiatt, Mrs. Smith, & Mrs. Hayes

Corey West                                                       Mr. Felker, Mr. Eggers, Mr. Pyles, & Mr. Hopkins

Laurel West                                                       Mrs. Shaw

Cody Talton                                                      Mrs. Blackburn

Everett Hayward                                              Mrs. McCourry

Griffin Hayward                                               Mrs. Lawrence

Charlotte Crees                                                Mrs. Dallas & Ms. Greene

Madelyn Ellis                                                    Mrs. Hall

Sam Nystrom                                                   Mrs. Blakeley, Mrs. Allain, Mrs. West, Mrs. McCourry & Mrs. Dees

Jeffrey Collier                                                  Mrs. Shields

Ryan Collier                                                     Mrs. Blakeley

Kaylee Cottom                                                 Mrs. Huffman, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Harvey & Mr. Larick

Lauren Cottom                                                Mrs. Brubaker, Mrs. Roten, Mrs. Saunders & Mrs. Mohr

Keigh Flowers                                                Hardin Park Administrators & Office Staff

Mary Smalling                                                 Hardin Park Students

Olivia Marino                                                   Mrs. Heckle & Mrs. Hyler

John Byassee                                                Mrs. James

Sam Byassee                                                 Mrs. Shaw

Will Byassee                                                   Mrs. Blackburn

Rosemary Mock                                              Hardin Park Office Staff

Sam Vandenberg                                           Mrs. Krause

Ben White                                                       Mrs. Nash, Mrs. Cottrell & Mrs. Krause

Jack White                                                      Mrs. McCourry & Mrs. Rothrock

Alice Knight                                                    Mrs. Mohr, Mrs. Saunders, Mrs. Brubaker & Mrs. Roten

Katie Mac Knight                                            Mrs. Huffman, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Harvey & Mr. Larick

Sandy Brubaker                                             Hardin Park Administrators & Office Staff

Hannah Zimmerman                                       Mr. Felker, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Eggers & Mr. Pyles

Emma Monroe                                                Mrs. Scott

Steven Garcia-Martinez                                 Mrs. Lentz

Dalton Coffey                                                 Mrs. Hall

Elizabeth Rivera-Alvarez                               Mrs. Shaw

Eleanor Dundon                                             Mrs. Shaw

Los Arcois                                                     Hardin Park School

Eleanor Richardson                             Mrs. Lawrence



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