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Hanawalt Elementary’s First-Ever Athletic Track Commemorates 100 Years

Posted September 05, 2013 in Beaverdale, Des Moines West, Community Web Exclusives, Windsor Heights

Des Moines, Iowa — August 12, 2013 — Hanawalt Elementary School celebrates its centennial with the construction of the school’s first-ever athletic track along with a great lawn and future plans for community gardens and outdoor education. PTA members in partnership with the Polk County Board of Supervisors, RDG Planning & Design, Des Moines Public Schools, and the Hanawalt Community have made this exceptional school-and-community project possible.

“It’s amazing what the Hanawalt community will do to help ensure we have a safe outdoor venue for exercise and entertainment activities for not only Hanawalt students, but for the entire community,” said Dianna Thompson, 2012-13 PTA Co-President.

The concept for this project was a result of surveying the school’s staff, parents, alumni, neighbors and businesses. The overwhelming consensus was that a first-ever track would best honor 100 years of Hanawalt Elementary School on Des Moines’ west side. This track would:
• enhance the school’s park allure for the community (none exists in the immediate area);
• provide support for the school’s physical education programs;
• support the annual Bloom Camp Relays & Fun Day as well as KidStriders;
• combat ”nature deficit disorder”; and
• improve the condition of the school’s playing field.

The PTA launched a memorial brick campaign for grassroots support and has received technical and financial support from the Polk County Board of Supervisors and Des Moines Public Schools. RDG, a local design firm, volunteered to develop the field’s plans. The county served as general contractor.

”With RDG volunteering time and expertise, and the Board of Supervisors providing the manpower, we know this track will stand the test of time,” said Thompson. “Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly has been instrumental in the track project coming together, leading Polk County’s involvement in this school & community project. Because of them, we’ll have a track that will benefit not only the thousands of Hanawalt students, but also families in the community well into the next century.”

Track construction began in July 2013. For more information on the Hanawalt Track project, contact Andrew Burg at 515.242-8411 or Hanawalt School is located at 225 56th Street in Des Moines.

Hanawalt Elementary School’s PTA (Parent – Teacher Association) is a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3). An inclusive organization, Hanawalt PTA’s mission is to actively assist and support the education of the whole child through collaboration with parents, staff, and the community. To learn more, call 2013-14 Co-Presidents Julie Hahn at 515.991-0748 or Kim Johnson at 515.669-3226 or visit

Hanawalt Elementary School Mission: Hanawalt strives to be a model community of learning, educating the whole child with 21st century skills while celebrating diversity and individualism.

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