11/17/2010 01:56 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Drexel Design Students Give Magical Makeover To West Philly Playground

Appalled by the condition of the playground at a West Philadelphia elementary school, two local women decided to take action to makeover the space for students.

One of the women, Debra Ruben, a professor of design at nearby Drexel University, enlisted a group of her undergraduate and graduate students to lend a hand.

Together, the group renovated the playground, which, at the beginning of the project, consisted of cracked asphalt littered with weeds and glass shards, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Now, the space is a colorful, inviting and safe space for Rudolph Blankenburg School students to enjoy for years to come.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports,

"It is our responsibility as design professionals to use our skills and knowledge in order to improve our communities," said former graduate research assistant Catherine Russo.

Aesthetic makeovers of deteriorating schools have garnered national attention on the NBC reality show "School Pride." Some critics have charged the show sets an unrealistic standard with fancy makeovers funded by corporate sponsorships.

"School Pride" cast members maintain that the purpose of the show is to inspire communities to take action to improve schools themselves.