The Situation

South Washington County Schools (Independent School District #833) has many school locations ranging from elementary to high school serving communities of Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park, Woodbury, Afton, and more. Their strategic plan focuses on personalization of the climate and culture in all their school and staff environments.  

With more than 18,400 students attending the district schools, the staff and maintenance workers were finding it difficult to navigate multiple playground vendors and keep track of all maintenance and repair steps. While they wanted to provide an excellent space for play while following playground safety measures, doing so placed strain on administrative and grounds staff. 

Just as the district and staff are dedicated to the environment they provided their students, they wanted a partner that was equally committed to the care of their playgrounds. SafetyFirst Playground Maintenance was able to be their single point of contact for all their playgrounds and offered a high level of attention to their schools’ playgrounds in a way that supported their strategic plan.

The Approach

First, South Washington County Schools wanted to get all their playgrounds back up to safety standards. To do so, the school district provided copies of a recent playground audit performed by a third-party that conducts annual inspections of all the playgrounds in the school district. Next, one of SafetyFirst’s Certified Playground Safety Inspectors (CPSI) conducted an assessment to confirm the audit and determine priority for play areas and equipment repairs. 

South Washington County Schools was able to review the assessment and approve the repairs and then, SafetyFirst took care of the rest. We communicated with the manufacturers and suppliers and completed all the repairs on-site so none of the schools or staff needed to worry about when, where, or how the playground updates would be made.

Afterward, South Washington County Schools started their quarterly maintenance service with us. Every quarter SafetyFirst has a Certified Playground Safety Inspector visit each playground to look it over and complete a report of maintenance needs along with an estimate for repairs. While there, we also do some hardware tightening and replacement just to make sure everything is top-notch. 

Once the playground repairs are approved by school staff, the SafetyFirst team will visit each site to fix the identified playground safety issues, prioritizing repairs based on the risk of playground injuries to ensure every child is safe and the school is protected.

The Outcome

South Washington County Schools was able to get their 17 playgrounds up to date during the initial audit and repair process. By meeting the playground safety standards, the district safeguarded themselves against any liability while providing a safe and enjoyable place for the students to play.

South Washington County Schools understands that maintaining a playground is not a one-and-done service, it requires ongoing assessments and repairs to maintain its safety. Since the district has such a large amount of playground traffic, they wanted a regular playground checkup in order to keep up all their playgrounds. With SafetyFirst’s quarterly playground maintenance services, they were able to support safe playgrounds, relieve pressure on the staff, and receive quick customer service.
The quarterly inspection is designed to identify and repair playground equipment before it is broken. Our Certified Playground Safety Inspectors are trained to detect wear and tear that could lead to possible playground safety hazards, therefore fixing the equipment or parts before they are broken. This allows South Washington County Schools to stay in compliance because of our proactive approach to playground maintenance.

Through the quarterly maintenance partnership, SafetyFirst is South Washington County School’s one-stop-shop for their playgrounds. SafetyFirst handles all the details so the administration and grounds workers do not need to worry about the playground. We handle all communication with equipment manufacturers and troubleshoot unavailable parts, so every aspect of their playground is covered, and we take care of it from start to finish. This relieves a significant burden on the schools knowing the playgrounds and the kids are well taken care of. 

If broken playground equipment is found in-between quarterly audits, the school can simply contact SafetyFirst and the team will quickly handle the issue at no extra fee. And with our playground QR stickers, anyone can report an issue, further streamlining each site’s playground maintenance and reducing complaints.

South Washington County Schools are serving the children in our community, and as their partner, we are doing our part by caring for their playgrounds, all 17 of them.

Learn more about our quarterly maintenance services and how we can remove the stress of maintaining your school’s playgrounds.