Wood chips at playground removed after they go through kids’ shoes

Wood chips at Washington Elementary School in Burbank will be replaced after piercing three pairs of shoes.
(Raul Roa / Burbank Leader)

The wood chips in playgrounds at a Burbank elementary school will be replaced after the chips went through the shoes of some students and staff.

Burbank Unified’s school board has agreed to spend $80,000 to remove the chips, install artificial turf and avoid causing anyone real harm at Washington Elementary.

“Recently, we’ve had a couple of students and a staff member actually have the wood chips go through their shoes,”; David Jaynes, assistant superintendent of Burbank Unified, said during last week’s school board meeting.

“So we would like to get those replaced as soon as possible.”


The $79,620 cost was unanimously agreed to by board members.

The chips will be replaced in two locations on Washington’s campus — the main playground and the kindergarten area — with turf that has been already installed at McKinley, Disney, Providencia and Edison elementary schools.

The incidents also spurred Burbank school officials to take inventory of what other Burbank schools have the chips.

“I think, realistically, the conversation that we did have and the one being brought back to us at the subcommittee level is what it will cost for us to just deal with the wood-chip issue once and for all,” said school board member Larry Applebaum.

Kelly Corrigan writes for Times Community News.