The new multipurpose room at Hollywood School in Brookfield opened to students on Nov. 29, along with the new playground outside. The new addition (above and below) will be used for a variety of purposes, from music classes to lunch to large gatherings. | Ramesh Nair/D96

The long-awaited and much-delayed new playground and multipurpose room at Hollywood School in Brookfield both finally opened on Nov. 29.

Both the playground and the multipurpose room addition were originally scheduled to open at the start of the school year in August but were delayed again and again because of supply chain issues and other problems.

The fifth-grade class at Hollywood was the first class to use the playground, but Hollywood School Principal Kim Hefner let each class have the playground to themselves for a time on Nov. 29 to check out the playground and climb on the equipment, which features a merry-go-round and a tall twisting slide.

“The kids had a blast today,” Hefner said. 

Bob Skolnik/Contributor

Fourth-grader Lionel Otero said he liked the new playground, despite the long wait. 

“It was worth it,” Lionel said.

He said that he especially liked the swings and the merry-go-round.

“I liked that there was the spinning circle,” he said. 

The playground only came about after years of protracted negotiations between the Hollywood Citizens Association and Riverside Elementary School District 96. The school district is leasing the land the playground sits on from the HCA for $1 a year. The playground is surrounded by a wrought-iron fence, but the gates to the playground will be unlocked so that kids can use the playground after school hours.

The approximately 1,450-square-foot multipurpose room built on to the back of the school also opened on Nov. 29. The room will be used for orchestra classes and eventually for lunch once social distancing rules are relaxed. 

The room will also be used for indoor recess when the weather is bad and will serve as a large meeting space. On Monday, boxes of orchestra instruments were moved into the new multipurpose room, which features stylish, circular overhead lighting.

It cost the district about $1.61 million to build the multipurpose room and the playground. The playground equipment cost $72,101.50 and it cost approximately $31,800 to install. 

Unlike the new multipurpose room at Ames School, the Hollywood multipurpose room features operable windows. The $16,000 cost of the operable windows were covered by a grant.