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VIDEO: Newton Community Comes Together to Build New School Playground

The Williams Elementary School community has spent the last couple of years organizing and planning for a new playground. After fundraising and a "community build," the project is finally finished. A ribbon cutting for the new playground was held Aug. 25.

When students return to next Tuesday, they may notice something a little different about the school's recess space. 

Thanks to a jumpstart from the city and fundraising efforts from the Williams community, the Grove Street elementary school has a brand new playground. 

The project, which replaced a 20-year-old play structure, had been in the works for about two years, Williams PTO Co-President Sarah White told Newton Patch. It includes a plastic rock wall, tubes to crawl through, a lookout tower and every kind of slide a kid could imagine. 

"The whole [playground structure] is pretty cool," White said. "I don't think the kids are going to tire of it easily." 

According to Newton Parks & Recreation Department Recreation Manager Stephanie Lapham, the city contributed $12,500 to the project through its Boston Marathon receipts fund. 

Once the city got the wheels turning with the initial funding, the Williams PTO and community launched the rest of the fundraising. Overall, the school raised $73,000, according to Williams PTO Treasurer Dawn Byrne, which included contributions from the PTO, corporate sponsors, as well as in-kind donations from local businesses.

Aside from the fundraising, members of the  in Auburndale volunteered to help excavate the old playground as well as dig the holes for the new structure.

Then, once the playground equipment was delivered, volunteers got together for a "community build" on August 16-19 to assemble the playground parts.

Newton Patch visited the playground on Fri., August 17 during the assembly of the new playground. An official ribbon cutting for the new playground was held Sat., Aug. 25, 2012 with several members of the Newton School Committee and Mayor Setti Warren.

Special thanks to Williams Elementary PTO Co-President Michael Lorent for providing photos of the finished product and the playground ribbon cutting.

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