ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals and So Kids Can, along with the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA), officially opened the S.T.A.R.S. Playground at Hopkins-Tancil Court in Alexandria, Va., on Sept. 16.
More than 200 Capitals fans and neighborhood volunteers built the playground on Sept. 13, replacing an outdated structure. The new equipment is handicap accessible and will provide hundreds of youth in the Alexandria community with a safe place to play.
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The new playground includes both physical and educational play elements. Features include a spiral slide, vertical climber, rock wall, geo dome, number sequencing panel and checkers station. Picnic tables, benches and planters also are part of the layout.
The official opening featured remarks from Alexandria City Mayor William D. Eullie and ARHA CEO Roy Priest and a dance recital by neighborhood children.
“The playground was a tremendous opportunity for the fulfillment of a community dream,” said Priest. “With the help of KaBOOM!, the Washington Capitals and so many partners, we made a dream come true. To have almost 200 volunteers and community organizations come together around community building is very exciting.”
The new playground’s design was based on drawings created by community children who participated in a design day in August. During the opening the children performed a celebratory dance routine and played on the new equipment.
Construction of the playground was completed within six hours, including moving 100 cubic yards of mulch, mixing more than 16,000 pounds of concrete, painting games of the sidewalk and building cubbies for the nearby Ruby Tucker Center.
Funds for the playspace were raised through So Kids Can during the Caps 2011-12 season. The playground was the second built by the Washington Capitals, So Kids Can and KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to saving play for America’s children by creating great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. In 2011 the organizations partnered to build a Capitals-themed playground at Associates for Renewal in Education in Washington, D.C.