When the students at the Paul Revere School return from their summer vacation on Aug. 27, they will find a newly rebuilt playground located behind the school.
And it’s likely that they will like the design very much: the students themselves helped with the design of the playground, having submitted drawings for the new playground during a “Design Day” Monday in the school library.
Mayor Brian Arrigo and Project Manager Elle Baker joined representatives from KaBoom! And Keurig Dr. Pepper at the design session for the playground, which is named Consiglio Della Russo Park.
The playground is the result of the city’s partnership with KaBoom!, a national non-profit dedicated to providing children with a safe and exciting to play, and Keurig Dr. Pepper (the K-Cups king and the soda company merged one year ago), who is the funding sponsor for the project as part of its “Let’s Play” initiative launched in 2011 that promotes active play for children and families.
Keurig Dr. Pepper will pay for the new playground equipment for the park which will be available for use by Paul Revere students during school hours and all children after school and on weekends.
Arrigo said during the city’s ongoing master planning process (Next Stop Revere), the Paul Revere School playground site was identified as one for investment and improvement.
“Following our conversations with Principal Donna Bonarrigo and school administrators, the City Council, in advance of getting the grant, appropriated the money and we’re in line for over $200,000 that will help pay for it,” said Arrigo.
The mayor said he was impressed by the students’ suggestions for the playground equipment.
“I’m excited to see the students give shape and form for some of what we’re going to see on the playground,” said Arrigo. “I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when we get it built and it’s the first day of school and they’re opening up this beautiful, new playground behind the Paul Revere School.”
Derrick Dixon, project manager for KaBoom! who really lit up the room with his enthusiasm for the endeavor, said two of the students’ most requested items for the new playground were tire swings and bounce-associated equipment. Other student-generated ideas included long slides, a wiffleball court, a basketball court, and a trampoline.
Paul Revere School Principal Donna Bonarrigo said the new playground will make a huge difference in the students’ daily recess time. There are approximately 475 students enrolled at the school.
“We are so thrilled – it’s going to make a huge difference to our school community,” said Bonarrigo. “The fact that the city acted so promptly to pull in KaBoom! and bring in the grant, and get this playground built in a short turnaround time, is really impressive. It’s going to be ready for the start of school and we’re excited.”
Baker said the city has collaborated with KaBoom! on two previous projects at Curtis Park in 2017 and Costa Park in 2014.
“KaBoom! is an amazing organization and they’ve connected us with Keurig Dr. Pepper company, a generous corporate sponsor that is promoting safe and active play spaces and making this project possible for our city,” said Baker.
Baker is seeking 100 volunteers from the city for a community “build the playground day” on Aug. 23. She is also seeking volunteers to help unload the playground equipment on Aug. 21.
“We plan on opening the play space on the first day of school (Aug. 27),” said Baker.