Ingomar Elementary School in McCandless may have the smallest amount of land of any North Allegheny school, but parent volunteers have found enough space to create a fitness trail that students can use in physical education classes.
The school board voted on July 18 to accept the donation of the trail.
"It's very exciting," said Kristen Silbaugh, principal of the school.
"I think we need to promote wellness for the kids. Our phys ed teacher is amazing at getting them to live a healthy lifestyle."
The idea of a fitness trail was promoted by physical education teacher Dean Boronyak when the school's parent-teacher organization solicited ideas for capital projects at the school, Ms. Silbaugh said.
Mr. Boronyak had "visions of bicycles and rollerblades, but there wasn't enough room to do that" at the land-locked building, she said.
There was, however, some room in the back for a horseshoe-shaped trail that could meet up with two other paved areas to form a complete circle, Ms. Silbaugh said.
The trail was a cooperative effort among the Town of McCandless, the PTO and the parent of two Ingomar students.
McCandless donated 60 tons of millings -- old asphalt removed from roads.The millings have an estimated value of $900.
The PTO supported the cost of the paving work, equipment rental and the fabric used under the millings, a total of $4,834.
The trail was laid out and developed by parent Robert Kushon of Kushon Construction, and one of his employees, Roman Lwanyshn. Mr. Kushon has two students in the school, Ms. Silbaugh said.
The trail took 50 volunteer hours over a week and a half to build.
McElroy Paving was hired to put fresh asphalt over the millings. "It should be very durable," she added.
Mr. Kushon also donated a bench for the trail.
Now, Mr. Boronyak is seeking grants for bicycles and rollerblades, which are used in physical education programs throughout the district. And Ms. Silbaugh is looking for other uses for the trail, such as walk-a-thons for charity and "Girls on the Run."
"A parent brought that as an option for us and we decided that we wanted to move forward on that," she said.
The program, run locally by Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, helps to build self-esteem in girls in fourth and fifth grades while training them to run a 5K race.
Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer: email@example.com.