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Students enjoy new play structure on Blue Island

September 06, 2019
By KCS Staff

With wide eyes of wonder and delight, children in Mrs. Vera's P3 class were the first to enjoy the brand new play structure on the first day of school. The colorful new equipment, installed by Inspired Play, now sits as the centerpiece of the Blue Island playground.

While plans for the new structure have been in the works for over a year, the story of the KCS playground dates back to 2000 and is uniquely connected to the Arnold family. As an architecture student at UH Mānoa, Pastor Ron's son, Rocky (a KCS alum), proposed a new play structure to replace an unsafe sailboat that once occupied the playground. After surveying students and proposing his idea to former principal Mark Gallagher, Rocky implemented his "Dorsal Play" structure, from conceptual drawing to fabrication of the steel tubing and the actual construction of equipment. When the playground was dedicated in 2001, Rocky had already relocated to the mainland.

For nearly two decades, the Dorsal Play structure was lovingly used and enjoyed by school and church children, but through the years, some of its supporting elements had deteriorated. During the 2018-19 school year, KCS began the search for new playground options. At the same time, Rocky and his family had returned to Hawaii and his sons were now enrolled as KCS students. As the school explored various play equipment and met with several vendors, Rocky utilized his expertise as an architect to help steer the direction of the project. When asked about replacing his Dorsal Play design, Rocky said, "I believe our greatest need is to provide a quality play structure that will match the high quality of the school."

Thanks to Rocky and Property Manager John Perez, preschool and elementary students have loved exploring the different features of the new structure. With two slides and a climbing wall, the structure provides new play opportunities on Blue Island. KCS is also grateful for the generous funding support from the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation, Atherton Foundation, and Cooke Foundation, Limited. In the coming months, watch for one more upgrade to Grassy Island!