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Volunteers Build School Playground




Volunteers and residents mixing cement, assembling equipment and laying down safety surface for a playground Wednesday at School 5 in Paterson.
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A crew of volunteers recently spent six rain-soaked hours building a school playground they hope will last a lifetime.

The 200 volunteers scrambled to mix cement, assemble slides and benches and spread landscaping material in a previously barren asphalt lot next to Paterson School 5 in Paterson, N.J. in an effort that brought together neighbors, school staffers and sponsors.

When they were done, Bob Guarasci, CEO and founder of the New Jersey Community Development Corp., declared the day a victory both for the school, which serves 1,300 youngsters, and the neighborhood.

“I think this playground signals a new start here at School No. 5 as well as in the broader community,” Guarasci said. “This is a symbol of this community’s rebirth and of this school’s rebirth.”

Guarasci said the 3,600-square-foot playground was the result of a collaboration between the community development group, the pharmaceutical company Roche, the Paterson school district and KaBoom!, a non-profit that helps build community playgrounds.

The project started with a planning day in March when organizers met with children and community leaders to help design the playground. It culminated with the volunteers installing 58,320 square feet of safety surface and more than 10,000 pounds of concrete.

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June 16, 2019, 10:30 pm PDT

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