Six-Figure Investment Transforms Central City Lot Into Innovative Play Space

NEW ORLEANS – PlayBuild NOLA, an educational nonprofit, and New Orleans contracting firm Palmisano Contractors are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new PlayBuild play space in Central City on Wednesday, July 29, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. at 2828 Thalia St.

         Together, they have turned what they called a neighborhood eyesore into an innovative outdoor classroom focused on teaching kids about design, architecture, construction and engineering.

         The new PlayBuild play space has already begun its mission of teaching children about design through experiential play and hands-on art activities. A summer camp program on the history and heritage of New Orleans architecture is currently underway. Beginning in the fall, PlayBuild will host school groups during the weekdays and open play sessions and special events on the weekends.

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         Since breaking ground in April, Palmisano and its network of construction partners, has transformed the site into a dynamic space for kids to learn and play. The site features open green space for free play as well as benches, tables and seating for more structured classroom-style lessons. There is also a small garden, electricity, restroom facility and Wi-Fi.

         The finished project delivers a six-figure investment to the community.

         In 2013, PlayBuild turned the overgrown, blighted lot into an outdoor classroom, hosting neighborhood charter schools for after school lessons and field trips. The nonprofit’s partnership with Palmisano Contractors in the fall of 2014 fulfilled the dream of a permanent play space, tied to PlayBuild’s mission of transforming under-utilized spaces to create dynamic environments for kids to learn and play.

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         PlayBuild is a two-year old educational nonprofit co-founded by Angela Kyle and Charlotte Jones that has received local and national attention for their innovative model, which uses hands-on activities to teach kids about architecture and design. PlayBuild partners with charter elementary schools and community organizations to reach kids aged 4-12.

         In just under two years through school partnerships and community outreach, PlayBuild has engaged more than 1,000 local kids. In 2012, PlayBuild was named a Top 10 semi-finalist in the 2012 PitchNOLA Lots of Progress contest. The organization received grant support in 2013 from KaBoom and Dr. Pepper Snapple and in 2014 from the Jazz and Heritage Foundation. PlayBuild was named a semi-finalist in the 2014 LEGO Foundation and Ashoka Changemakers Re-Imagine Learning Challenge, a global competition to identify social innovators working at the intersection of learning and play. In September 2014, PlayBuild was voted one of New Orleans' favorite education start-ups in the education entrepreneur challenge.

         PlayBuild is a registered nonprofit corporation in the state of Louisiana. For charitable purposes and to accept tax-exempt donations, the organization operates under the fiscal umbrella of Neighborhoods Partnership Network (NPN), a registered 501c(3).

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