It started with a simple conversation between Betance Enterprises, Inc. (Centennial, Colo.) and a friend who worked at Air Force Space Command.
“This concept developed after several discussions with Michelle Linn, Air Force Space Command,” said Cindy Lincicome, director of preconstruction at Betance.
“Under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District, Betance was responsible for the design and installation of two accessible playgrounds at the Peterson Air Force Base Child Development Center.”
The contract called for removal of the existing equipment at the CDC. “After conversations with Betance President, Michael Betance, we recognized that the existing playground equipment had some life left to it, so instead of simply recycling the equipment for parts, as per the contract, Betance donated the playground system to Alpine Autism Center in Colorado Springs,” said Lincicome..
Not only did they donate it, but several Betance employees spent their days off installing it over a weekend.
“It was a great opportunity to be a part of installing equipment that could continue to bring joy to the Alpine Autism children for many years,” said Lincicome. “Between six Betance employees, over 70 hours were donated to complete the installation.”
“The Corps was all for donating the equipment and considers it in keeping with the contract requirements that the contractor recycle all materials possible,” said Heather Duggan, Omaha District Resident Engineer at Peterson Air Force Base. The Corps provided support for the donation and confirmed proper processes were in place, she said.
“I think it’s great that the contractor thought outside the box and helped the Autism Center,” said Duggan. “The donation actually helped Betance meet its waste diversion goals while recycling useable materials.”
Both Lincicome and Duggan said it was a good opportunity to give back to the community, veterans and their families.
Alpine Autism Center Director Kaylee Rosecrantz said she was “ecstatic” when the kids showed up on Monday. “Their first reaction was amazing to watch,” said Rosecrantz. “They were overtaken by the fact that they now have a real playground to call their own. Many of them could not even wait to go out and check out what we installed, and we are having a hard time getting them off of it!,”