Just over a year after their playground was set on fire, preschoolers at Mountain View Elementary School on Friday celebrated new equipment, compete with a pirate ship. There were cheers, shrieks, smiles and giggles at the ribbon cutting ceremony where the pirate ship-themed equipment was unveiled.

Mountain View Elementary has two playgrounds. The one on the east side of the building is for the older kids, and the one on the west side is for the smaller kids. It’s the west side playground that was burned.

Principal Chris Woodward said the July 2018 fire basically destroyed it. "There was a little bit of it left, and we were able to use that for most of last school year."

The community rallied around the school immediately after the fire, led by the Mountain View Lions Club that donated around $20,000.

"When we heard about the playground needing to be replaced we were fortunate enough to have funds available," Mountain View Lions Club president Amy Posma said. "We were able to make the donation to help get the ball rolling."

Woodward said the school had four or five designs to choose from and used a community vote to help decide.

"The majority of people, myself included, really wanted the pirate ship," Woodward said. "So that's a featured component of this playground, so it really was a community effort."

The playground equipment also was specifically chosen for the smaller kids who will use it most.

The manufacturer provided free shipping to the west coast. From there, TOTE Maritime and Carlisle Transportation Systems shipped the equipment to Anchorage for free.

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