Woodcrest Elementary School has a new sports court.
Students, staff, a representative from Hoffman Weber Construction, Inc., and volunteers from Emmanuel Christian Center in Spring Lake Park gathered Oct. 11 at the court for a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The 40- by 60-foot court, located just south of the school building, was donated by Hoffman Weber.
“It seemed like a good way to give back,” said Joe Hoffman, president of the Fridley construction firm, in an interview.
Hoffman was raised in a nearby trailer park and was aware of the school and neighborhood needs.
Cost for the court, made of suspended honeycombed plastic, was $5,000.
Installation started in August and was finished in September.
Custom Construction Services of Minneapolis provided its concrete-pouring services gratis.
Volunteers from Hoffman Weber and from the church installed the court. The school has a student mentoring partnership with Emmanuel Christian Center.
Hoffman learned Woodcrest had applied for a grant for the court and had been turned down. He further learned of the school’s needs from a pastor at ECC.
“So we decided to step in,” he said. “We figured it was our duty to step in.”
His company’s mission is to give to people who can’t help themselves and don’t have the resources, specifically, children, he said.
Woodcrest, a K-3 school, will use the court for recess and physical education classes, Principal Judi Kahoun said in an interview.
“We know our community uses it when school is out of session,” she said. “On any given night, there can be up to 50 youth from the neighborhoods using the sports court and, then, playing soccer in our fields.”
Hoffman Weber also donated soccer goals and physical education equipment to Woodcrest.
The court will provide fun and exercise for children instead of their “getting into trouble,” Hoffman said.
“It sounded like the thing to do – to have a big impact on the kids.”
Elyse Kaner is at firstname.lastname@example.org