CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Parents in Cranston are calling upon the city to repair the playground at Edgewood Highland Elementary School, which has been closed since August due to structural concerns.
The city closed the playground two days into the school year because the rubber on the ground is torn up and some of the equipment isn’t secured properly.
Edgewood Highland School Parent Teacher Organization presidents Bridget Graziano and Megan Cresci-Johnson tell 12 News the playground is practically the core of the neighborhood.
“This is where [kids] hang out and where they meet friends,” Graziano explained.
Graziano said students and their parents have been lost without their playground.
“The need is now,” she said. “We’re the only school [in the city] with a closed playground.”
Cresci-Johnson said the safety hazards didn’t happen overnight.
“It makes you think twice as a parent of what’s going on,” Cresci-Johnson said. “You expect that the playgrounds in your city are safe. Knowing this one was not is concerning to a lot of parents.”
In response to parents’ concerns, Hopkins requested the Cranston City Council approve $600,000 in ARPA funding toward playground repairs.
Anthony Moretti, Hopkins’ chief of staff, tells 12 News each of the city’s six wards would receive $100,000 to put toward repairing their playgrounds.
When asked whether the city’s other playgrounds were in desperate need of repairs, Moretti replied, “not to the extent of Edgewood Highlands.”
Moretti said $100,000 would be more than enough to cover the costs of the repairs.
“Parents and children should be upset,” Moretti said. “Frankly, there’s no excuse why it got to this point.”
But parents want to make sure it’s fixed no matter the cost.
“We’re asking that the city fully funds [the repairs],” Graziano said. “Whether it’s more than $100,000 or less than $100,000.”
The City Council has not yet made a decision on Hopkins’ proposal, so funding for the playground repairs remains up in the air.