Holding onto its dream

CONRAD – After bringing a smile to children’s faces for more than two decades, the Dreamland playground in Conrad is starting to show its age.

The wooden playground and town landmark next to the BCLUW Elementary School was built in 1991 by community volunteers.

During a recent BCLUW School Board meeting, the board discussed the need for the playground to be removed in the near future due to the deterioration of the wood in the structure.

“Heavy use and the cumulative effects of weather over the past couple decades have resulted in significant overall deterioration of the structure, and made splinters an increasing area of concern,” said BCLUW Superintendent Ben Petty. “Although school staff and community volunteers have helped with maintenance and repairs, it is simply nearing the end of its life span.”

The school board plans to look into raising funds and seeking grants to help fund a replacement of the playground. Petty is hoping the community can also get on board for the project.

“Since Dreamland was a community project years ago, and receives a lot of use outside the regular school day, we think it’s appropriate that replacement be a combined school and community effort,” Petty said.

Petty recognizes that Dreamland has been a big draw for the community through the past two decades and they are hopeful the new playground in its place can continue in this role moving forward.

“We’re hopeful that a new structure will be in place within a couple years to continue this community attraction,” Petty said.

Darla Ubben, program director of the Conrad Chamber-Main Street, said Dreamland has been an asset to the community through the years.

“It has been a landmark for us and I know it was a huge community effort to get it built,” Ubben said. “It still is a huge attraction for people coming to Conrad. The Chamber-Main Street will try to help out the best we can.”