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Revamped playground part of new school year at City Day

The first day of school always includes plenty of "new" — new teachers, new classes, and often new classmates.

The opening of the 2023-2034 school year at Chicago City Day School also included a new look for its outdoor spaces, highlighted by a revamped play area just west of the main building.

The new playground equipment features a striking geometric design (using City Day colors) and a variety of amenities that inspire students to climb, run, and use their imaginations.

"The unique, customized design captures the spirit of City Day,” Head of School Chris Dow said. “It emboldens students to leave their comfort zones while safely supporting them in their efforts.” 

The new playground, made possible by a generous donation from the Peter and Paula Fasseas Foundation, is part of a larger refresh of the many outdoor learning spaces on the school's 2-acre campus. The campus, which includes a koi pond, an outdoor art center, and a pollinator garden, was designed to be a tranquil “oasis of learning” in the middle of a bustling urban neighborhood.

As part of the project, the playground's previous equipment was moved to one of City Day's learning areas across the street from its main building, creating an additional outdoor resource for the school's younger grades. Additional seating and a fire pit were moved to the school's koi pond adjacent to the school, providing more tranquil space for students of all ages. 

Outdoor seating area with firepit at Chicago City Day School

The project also includes a repainted outdoor basketball court and numerous plantings throughout the campus.

“The new playground and the Fasseas’ astonishing generosity was the inspiration for revamping all of our wonderful outdoor space and creating a continuity of purpose throughout the campus,” Mr. Dow said.

City Day's outdoor learning spaces complement its indoor facilities and provide a unique sense of place for both students and teachers. Teachers use the outdoor spaces in a variety of ways — science, art, physical education, music, and more. 

See more photos of the new playground below.

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