Seward Rotary Club heard about the plans for the renovation of the Seward Elementary School Playground from Seward Public School officials and Eric Crouch, owner of Crouch Recreation, which is providing the new equipment.
2001 Heismann Trophy winner and Husker legend Eric Crouch was the featured speaker at the Seward Rotary Club’s weekly luncheon meeting at the Seward Civic Center on Wednesday, March 10th.  He is now the owner of Crouch Recreation-the company selected to design and install the newly proposed playground at the Seward Elementary School on Pinewood Avenue.  He was joined by Seward Elementary School Prinicipal Jessica Dominy, Seward Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) Fund Raising Chair Christy Schegg, and Mike Dobbs of Lincoln.  They presented a program informing those present on the proposed new Seward Elementary Playground at the Seward Elementary School.
Jessica Dominy began the program with a brief history of the present playground equipment installed in 2002 to serve 400 students.  It is overwhelmingly the most popular playground area in the City of Seward and the equipment is deteriorating, with it impossible to find replacement parts.   The current system is not really handicapped accessible.  Drainage is an issue in the playground area and the equipment now serves 549 students instead of the 400!  She noted that the existing basketball courts, swings and spider net climbing feature will not be removed but included in the new playground scheme.
The proposed equipment search began “pre-covid” - starting last year and was a bit delayed because of Covid-19 guidelines and school closing.  She shared the budget for the equipment is $258,000 with a pledge from the School District of Seward Board for $120,000.  The Seward Elementary PTO has pledged $50,000 for the project-having raised $35,000 to date and the rest is hopefully to be raised by the community-individuals and businesses that want to support the project.  To date, the PTO has raised a total of about $83,000.
Dominy noted that the City of Seward has agreed to demo and remove the existing playground equipment as their contribution to the playground, as it does become a “public playground” after school hours.  All of the demolished playground equipment will be destroyed and not recycled for another playground-based on safety. 
Crouch, owner of Crouch Recreation, presented the proposed playground equipment diagram. Crouch bought the company, founded in 1966, when he retired from professional football 17 years ago.  He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with a degree in Exercise Science.  He and his wife operate the company, which promotes playground equipment, sports bleachers, scoreboards and artificial turf.  His company’s playground equipment is all “American Made’ and made in Missouri.  
He commented on the improved safety aspect of the new equipment and detailed the logic and reasoning on the proposed variety of ground cover for the playgrounds.  Costs came into play when considering options to the playground’s ground cover.  He pointed out some of the newer features, including a rock climbing option.  He commented on the various pieces of equipment in the proposed plan and spoke to the quality and features of the new equipment.
Following the presentation, questions and answered by Crouch, Dominy and Schegg about the proposed playground.  Crouch expressed his appreciation to the School District of Seward, saluting the Community of Seward, along with the Seward Elementary School and their leadership for the proposed playground-with the continued focus on the student and student safety. 
Crouch was also asked about his feelings on the current UNL football program “The Husker’s today have taken lots of hits and the Pandemic did not help the program either,” stated Crouch.  “It has been tough for the Huskers, but I am optimistic for both the Cornhusker Football program and coaching staff.   I have a strong faith in both Coach Frost and his staff.  Scott Frost has lived this program-he knows what to do and I know they can do it!” 
Seward Rotary Club has selected the Seward Elementary Playground project as its 2021 district grant project and will be raising money to support the project at its Seward Service Celebration on May 22, 2021.  Tickets are now available at