By Adam Bassfirstname.lastname@example.org
As students of Amvet Elementary think of what gifts they will receive for the holidays, another present is awaiting them—a new playground.
The Amvet Playground Committee announced that it has finished fundraising efforts for the Amvet Playground Project—a year-long effort to raise money for a new playground structure and equipment that will help provide students with a better play experience during the recess period.
In an email to The Reporter dated Dec. 7, the committee and The Amvet Elementary PTO said they were able to receive more than $25,000 in donations and $450,000 allocated from Free Cash, approved by the Town Council. The funding is expected to be part of a $3.392 million investment toward the town’s Capital Improvement Plan.
“We are confident that with the funds raised by the Playground Committee and with the support of the Town Council, we will have the ability to purchase a playground that meets the needs of the students of Amvet,” said Dana Wilkens, president of the Amvet PTO. “We have closed our funding phase and are looking forward to moving into the planning and purchasing phase.”
Wilkens said the exact date of the playground and equipment’s installation is in flux, as prices continue to rise due to inflation She said, however, that the committee and PTO would like to see the project finished by the end of the academic year.
“We expect a significant lead time on purchasing the structure and materials, and then it needs to be installed,” she said. “It would be great to have the playground installed before the end of the school calendar year, but we understand all the complexities around commerce today.”
Wilkens said the initiative to purchase a new playground began in 2022. She, along with members of the PTO and committee met with Superintendent Dr. John Antonucci, State Rep. Adam Scanlon (D-North Attleborough) and Town Manager Michael Borg to develop a plan to receive additional financial support.
The original fundraising goal for the playground was $200,000. Borg and the rest of the Town Council, however, said that was not enough to purchase all the necessary equipment and the structure. The funding would also go into ensuring the playground is ADA compliant for students with disabilities.
Borg said that in his meetings with Antonucci, he applauded the mission statement of the Amvet Playground Project, and praised those who donated their time and money to ensure the students have a proper playground.
“This is a hard project to say no to, but we knew the project would cost $450,000 to $500,000,” said Borg. “This is to meet all the correct standards.”