Case Histories (Real-World Solutions)

Putting the Play in Playground

school playground

Slip-resistance and permeability for quick drainage were two benefits offered by Porous Pave XLS all-rubber safety surfacing — chosen by Community Christian school in the construction of their new playground.

Community Christian School (CCS), Willmar, Minn., is an accredited, inter-denominational school representing more than 20 churches in west-central Minnesota. CCS is a K-12 school and home to Eagle’s Nest Pre-School and Childcare. When CCS installed a new playground, the selection of the safety surface gave David Monson, owner, David Monson Landscaping and Excavating, Kandiyohi, Minn., the opportunity to use his imagination to bring the playground to life.

Choosing a playground surface requires attention to several priorities, starting with critical fall height. Based on the height of the highest piece of equipment that a child can stand on (and fall from), critical fall height determines the thickness necessary for safety surfacing to absorb impact. CCS also wanted slip-resistance and required permeability for quick drainage leaving no puddles after rain. The pre-school teachers wanted smoothness and comfort for young children sitting on the surface. In Minnesota winters, outdoor surfaces must be flexible to withstand freeze-thaw cycles without cracking or heaving and toughness to withstand the scrapping of snow blowers and shovels.

Based on all of its requirements, CCS selected Porous Pave XLS from Porous Pave, Inc., Grant, Mich. Porous Pave XLS is an all-rubber safety surfacing made with chips of rubber processed from recycled tires. Mixed with a moisture-cured liquid binder, it forms a solid paved surface that is safe, highly permeable and flexible.

“We made the playground unique and special,” says Monson. “The recycled rubber chips come in different colors. The material pours in place, so it can form shapes.”

Monson blended a custom mix of earth tones poured at a depth of two inches for the main sections of the 12,000-square-foot surface. Four-inch-deep XLS forms the green safety pads in the critical fall areas. Circles, hearts and diamonds in bright primary colors put the play into the playground.

This article originally appeared in the issue of .