By Jessica Mathews /

Howell High School’s Senior Survivor Project is working to bring a playground for people of all abilities to Genoa Township.

The 15th annual Senior Survivor competition begins on Sunday, April 24th and concludes on Friday, April 29th in which a group of seniors are locked in the high school and compete in challenges. To avoid elimination, students must raise money for a chosen charity. Last year’s project raised over $229,000. This year, students are raising money to build an inclusive, nature-inspired playground at the Genoa Township Park on the township hall property off Dorr Road.

The township will be contributing toward the cost of site work for the project, which includes items such as excavation and a gravel pathway. It was reported at a recent meeting that costs came in higher than estimated but the total improvement value leveraged will be significant.

Manager Mike Archinal told the board they had a really good meeting with school representatives about the project. Archinal said he’s talked with the board about doing the site work on multiple occasions and recently true numbers came in higher than estimates. Those updated figures will be included in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year to be approved at the board’s next meeting.

The original estimate was $110,000 but final numbers came in at $139,300. Archinal noted the project is leveraging around $776,600 in improvements, noting the kids involved in Senior Survivor typically raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and do a great job.

Archinal has said the park would be a real asset to the community and cutting edge in design. Each senior class would have the ability to make their mark on the project annually by adding different elements to the park. Signage would recognize the contributions of each class.

The Genoa Park currently features a popular sled hill, a walking path, athletic fields, a basketball court, a pavilion with accessible heated bathrooms, a warming area, and an existing playground. A number of improvements are planned both this year and next and were laid out in the township’s Capital Improvement Plan.

More information about Senior Survivor is available in the attachment and provided link.