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Playground takes shape in no time

Volunteers at Burbank Adult School join forces to create new outdoor space for children.

December 29, 2010|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com
(Raul Roa )

The Burbank Adult School has a new playground — for children — thanks to a community building session that transformed the outdoor recreation area in less than 24 hours.

The event earlier this month was organized as part of a three-way partnership between the Burbank Adult School, 24 Hour Fitness and Kaboom, a nonprofit that facilitates playground builds across the country.

The play area at the corner of Maple Street and Allan Avenue had previously consisted of a small patch of grass and some outdated equipment for children of the school's students and the public, said Burbank Adult School Principal Joseph Stark.

"This, I think, will be a great way for young families in particular to find out about the adult school," Stark said. "We find we are a little bit of best-kept secret, so it is always great for us to get the word out."

The $60,000 in new playground equipment was purchased by 24 Hour Fitness, and the school contributed $7,500 for additional expenses, Stark said.

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Youth fitness is a priority for 24 Hour Fitness, said Trever Ackerman, vice president for human resources. The company will be opening a new club in Burbank in the coming months, and sponsoring the project was a way to deepen its role in the community, Ackerman said.

"It is a big investment, but I think it is important for us as a company to know… We are giving back to the community, and this is a small price to pay to demonstrate that commitment," Ackerman said.

The build was the 1,918th project developed and executed by the Washington D.C.-based Kaboom, said project manager Adam Arata. It required months of planning, multiple site visits and input from different parties.

He described Burbank Adult School as an "exception partner."

"Everyone really bought into the project, really placed a lot of value in it and put a lot of time to get us to where we are today," Arata said.

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