Road workers spruce up village school playground

Pupils at a Staffordshire school got a nice surprise when they returned from the holidays to a new-look playground.

Improvements were made at the school.
Improvements were made at the school.

Snakes and ladders, a giant compass and ‘race track’ were among the new features for children to play on at Marshbrook First School in Penkridge.

The makeover was completed as part of works on the nearby M6.

Volunteers from the Highways England scheme, which is creating a smart motorway between junctions 13 (Stafford) and 15 (Stoke), also re-lined the school car park with new parking bays.

Workers from contractor WJ Group gave up their time on Easter Sunday to renovate the playground and car park.

This was the finishing touch to work carried out before Christmas when volunteers from Kier and WJ Group installed new drainage next to the playground, replaced old seating with a new bench and tidied up flowerbeds.

Developers of major projects often carry out improvements to nearby towns and villages in order to lessen the impact of disruption.

Highways England teams carried out the work.

Headteacher Dawn Spiers said: “Thanks to WJ Group and contractor Kier, the children can now see the marks on the playground, which they will be able to make use of in their games. The new surface is not only vibrant and colourful, but educational and engaging.

“Lack of car parking space is an issue and now spaces are marked out we can hopefully fit more cars in the car park.

“The quad has been weeded and tidied and is now a nicer space for people to be able to use. Due to Coronavirus measures, numbers who can use the staffroom to eat their lunch are very limited, so the quad is particularly helpful to staff at the moment, who can use it at lunchtimes.”

Highways England spokesperson, Peter Smith, said: “The motorway upgrade will increase capacity and bring more reliable, smoother journeys for road users. But we appreciate that any roadworks can be disruptive and therefore like to give something back to the local communities when we can.

“We are delighted that teams from the scheme were able to surprise the children with the improvements to their playground and to help the school tackle its parking issues. Thanks to all of the volunteers who gave up their own time to make this happen.”

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