East Elementary School students will have a new playground when they return from summer vacation.
At a Board of Education meeting Monday, June 16, the school's Parent-Teacher Council announced the donation of new playground equipment to the district.
PTC Co-President Patty Zoccolillo, who said the council tries to make a donation to the school every year, said the decision to raise money for a new playground came after it saw the conditions of the current one.
"This year, we weren't sure what we were going to do, but after we got a few phone calls about broken monkey bars, seesaws and we saw a caution tape on several of the playground items, it came to us that we probably should be working on the playground," Zoccolillo said.
The $67,775 playground will be assembled in August and be ready before the beginning of the school year.
The donation also is a tribute to Principal Alexandra "Bunny" Potts' retirement.
"We all know that Bunny really values play, so it just worked out when she told everyone she was retiring that we thought this should be our focus for the year," Zoccolillo told the board.
After 15 years as East principal and 25 years with New Canaan Public Schools, Potts is retiring at the end of the month.
"She was really the inspiration for this project," Zoccolillo added. "Even though we can't call it the `Potts Playground,' it'll always be the `Potts Playground' to us."
The majority of the existing playground equipment, including the beam structure and the central post, is 17 years old and is showing significant wear and tear.
A committee made up of parents, teachers, administrators and faculty identified the equipment it wanted to buy and did a fundraiser this spring, which raised about $55,000 to help purchase the new playground.
The committee also sought the input of the students.
"We asked the children what we wanted to see in a playground," Zoccolillo said. "A couple of them wanted a shark tank. Somebody wanted a water slide. That's not going to happen, unfortunately. But we still think we got a lot of what they did want."
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