When a Westmoreland playground was about to be torn down, St. Agatha asked for the gear and repurposed it. (Courtesy St. Agatha School)
When a Westmoreland playground was about to be torn down, St. Agatha asked for the gear and repurposed it. (Courtesy St. Agatha School)
Students at St. Agatha School in Southeast Portland got a surprise when they hit the playground. A recycled play structure was installed during the summer.

“I love it.” said seventh-grader Theo Pashley. “It’s so much bigger, has a rock climbing wall and three slides. It’s awesome.” Theo joined other volunteers to remove the old playground structure and prepared the space for the new equipment.

When NBP/Eastbank Development bought the Westmoreland Boys & Girls Club property, the club’s playground needed to be removed. At the school’s request, developers donated the playground to St. Agatha, home to more than 200 students. The developers also paid for half of the installation costs.

“Our existing structure was more than 20 years old. The timing was a blessing, as a wonderful playground in excellent condition was about to be demolished just as ours needed to be replaced,” said Chris Harris, St. Agatha principal. “We are grateful to the developers for this generous gift, and we are glad to be able to keep the playground in the neighborhood.”

As part of a campus improvement plan, workers will install a new preschool playground with funds raised at the school auction. One of the bidders and winner of the “ribbon cutting” package was the Ward-Dropinski Family.

“We believe in Catholic education and wanted to support our community,” said Linda Ward. Her three grandchildren, Jordan, Hannah and Kaylie, will cut the ribbon on the new structures.

On the first day of school, students headed to the playground for a routine fire drill and were surprised with an extra recess.