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High winds topple tree at Washington Early Ed Center
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A large tree on the west side of Washington School at the corner of Washington and Lakin streets was blown over in high winds, some gusting as high as 52 mph, Tuesday night. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Tuesday night, Great Bend experienced wind gusts of up to 52 mph, according to the National Weather Service.  According to USD 428 assistant superintendent Dan Brungardt, the Great Bend Police Department notified district administration that a tree had blown over into another tree.  They expressed concern that if the wind shifted or the other tree gave way, at least part of the original tree would fall into the Washington School building.

Stone Construction, Great Bend, was contacted immediately to bring down the first tree, he said.

Wednesday, the company planned to remove the original tree and cut down the tree it fell into because it has been compromised.  

Unified School District 428 is very grateful for all of the help from the Great Bend Police Department and Nelson Stone, Brungardt said.

“The district grounds department has done an excellent job keeping the trees trimmed so that limbs do not break off and hit the Washington building,” he said.  “It is just too hard to plan for a whole tree blowing over.”

The Washington Early Childhood Center, located at the intersection of Washington and Lakin streets, is home to several programs including, Early Childhood Special Education, Talented and Gifted services for elementary grades, Head Start, Parents as Teachers, Migrant Kindergarten and the Parent Resource Center.  

Extensive work has been done to improve the building, Brungardt said.

“We have painted it, put a new roof on in the last three years, reworked the HVAC in the older part of the building,  worked extensively on the playground area, relocated the special education summer garden from Shady Grove to back part of the Washington lot, “ he said.  “This summer we are adding additional sidewalk in front of Washington on the east end of the lot to increase parent pickup and drop-off capacity and lowering/reworking the parking lot fence (street side) to increase curb appeal.”