CHS students help build playground at Sher-Le-Mon

CHS students help build playground at Sher-Le-Mon

Volunteers Tom McKenna, left, and Scott Corio were hard at work last Saturday installing a new children's playground at Sher-Le-Mon Swim Club, Cumberland. While the pool, tennis, and other facilities there can be enjoyable, club leaders were pleased to be offering a new attraction for the younger children. (Valley Breeze photos by Tom Ward)

CUMBERLAND - Members of the community did not let the rain stop them Saturday morning as they worked diligently to install a playground at the Sher-Le-Mon Swim Club on Mendon Road.

Denis Fleurant, vice president of the club, said board members brainstormed the idea of constructing a playground during a meeting last year.

"We wanted to put together something that would give the kids at the club something to do and increase our membership," he explained.

He said when the idea came up he pictured parents walking through the property, looking at the pool, and noticing the playground equipment.

"We haven't had anything like this before," he said. "At our anniversary we had a jumping castle and a waterslide and the kids loved it, so we wanted to give them something else to do every time they are here."

Fleurant said he met with the owner of the company they used, Ultiplay, last winter to explain his vision.

Ultiplay, based out of Uxbridge, Mass., offers services to communities such as design, construction and maintenance of parks and playgrounds.

The owner took Fleurant's ideas and sketched a 3D model of the playground, which includes a slide, rock wall and swings.

Ultiplay supplied all the tools and material, while Sher-Le-Mon bought the cement and recruited volunteers.

Cumberland's Athletic Director Frank Geiselman said Fleurant contacted him about the possibility of students assisting in the community build.

"I contacted the hockey team and one of the parents, who's a member here, got seven of the students from the team to help out," he said.

In total, there were 15 students, including two from Mount St. Charles Academy, and staff members of Sher-Le-Mon who dug holes, built the slide and put together the swings.

"There were a few seniors and some juniors, and a few of them even went to their junior prom last night," Geiselman told The Valley Breeze. "But they were dedicated to come and help."

Junior Colin Froment said he used to be a member at the swim club and hoped to become a lifeguard there for the summer.

"So I thought I'd help them," he explained. "I've been mostly working on the slide and digging holes during my time here, but it was a team effort on that one."

Leo Lake, a junior and member of the hockey team, said he dug holes right alongside Froment.

"This event seemed like fun and you get to help everybody, especially at Sher-Le-Mon, everybody likes to come here in the summer," he said. "So just helping build something for the kids is great."

The volunteers worked throughout the day on Saturday to complete the playground so it could be displayed at the club's open house on June 1.

Volunteers, from left, Donald Fleurant, Nick Morrissey, and Derek Fleurant, handle the auger that was drilling post holes at a new children's playground at Sher-Le-Mon Swim Club, Cumberland.
Workers and volunteers were busy Saturday installing a new children's playground at Sher-Le-Mon Swim Club, Cumberland.