School officials and volunteers dismantled and removed the kindergarten playground at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School on Tuesday to make room for new equipment.
"They're cutting down the monkey bars right now," said kindergartner Tristan Rutledge, 5. "I'm sad to see my monkey bars go."
Classmate Soren Cadwell put the loss into perspective.
"I'll miss the monkey bars, but I'm also excited," he said.
The school was awarded the $30,000 equipment grant through the national foundation Let Them Be Kids.
"This wouldn't be possible without the foundation," said Principal Valerie Dockery. "We're very grateful for that."
Two stipulations attached to the award were the school needed to raise $3,500 for shipping costs and recruit at least 100 volunteers to help install the playground.
Dockery said the school has raised $2,500 and is right at 100 volunteers.
"We're really forming a lot of partnerships in the community," she said. "We've had so many volunteers already. Hopefully we can continue to build those partnerships."
Shawn Goodner, owner of Carson ATA Martial Arts, brought along some staff members and fathers from his academy to help disassemble the old playground.
"Anything we can do to help the kids in the community," he said. "We're going to be here to help make sure this all gets done."
The old equipment is being donated to a school in Ghana.
The new equipment should arrive this evening. Volunteers will meet 8 a.m. Saturday to help build the playground. A dedication ceremony will be at 1 p.m.
Kindergarten students helped choose the pieces through a "dotmocracy," where they placed round stickers on the equipment they wanted and their colors of choice.
"I'm excited because there's going to be a rock climb, and I like to climb up them," said Alexzander LePage, 5.