CUMBERLAND – A new playground is now open at Cumberland High School’s transitional building, where students from Cumberland Hill Elementary are being housed as their building undergoes renovations.

Cumberland Hill Elementary School, located at 205 Manville Hill Road, is undergoing major renovations including an addition, which will result in more classroom space and new common learning areas.

Construction is expected to last through the entire 2021-2022 school year, and students will be learning in the swing space at the transitional building at CHS until it is completed.

The transitional building will eventually be Cumberland’s preschool, which is currently in Ashton Elementary School. Prior to the preschool coming to the transitional building, all of the elementary schools will take turns using the space as their buildings are renovated.

Cumberland Hill Principal Debra Malcolm noted that the project is part of the five-year district renovation plan, and Cumberland Hill Elementary was the first to be renovated and moved to the transitional building. Malcolm said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Wednesday that she is very glad to see the playground open and for the students to have a place to play.

“They have been working on this since August, and this is the first ribbon we have been able to cut for the project so we are very excited,” Malcolm said. “It is a very learning-oriented playground as well.”

After the Dec. 8 ceremony, students were able to enjoy the playground. One child came up to Malcolm and exclaimed that they loved the playground. Another child told her that they loved the foam floor and that it did not hurt when they fell down.

Supt. Philip Thornton said he is excited that the playground is complete so children will have a safe place to play.

“It’s really exciting to see this playground open,” Thornton said. “It’s part of larger plans and it’s really exciting to see how the kids are using it and see how our work really is making a difference.”

Malcolm said that this year she came in with a blank slate as she brought her school to the transitional building.

Teachers next year have an easier time coming into classrooms because they will already be set up.

Malcolm said she is excited to share the space with her colleagues and have them adjust the space to their needs.

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