FAIR LAWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some elementary schoolchildren in Fair Lawn, New Jersey do not have a playground, so they raised money for one and even designed it.
But as CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, the children may never get to play on it.
The children from Radburn Elementary School in Fair Lawn want a playground so badly they are chanting about it. And they thought they were going to get one until they got the bad news on Friday.
“There’s not going to be a playground? Why?” said Radburn pupil Giana Ingrati.
The reason is that the school is on land owned by the Radburn Association. Thus, all plans for the exterior of the school must be voted on by the association – and the association voted no.
“The Radburn Association has denied the application for this playground, citing aesthetic issues,” said parent Michael Alania.
CBS2’s Baker spoke to David Bostock of the Radburn Association. He said residential neighbors in the community were concerned about the location.
“They didn’t give us another location, or nothing,” said parent Anthony Gianni.
“It’s a bit sad,” said parent Kamila Singh. “In this age of technology, our kids need someplace where they can go and unwind and be a child.”
And the kids were bummed, to say the least.
“I don’t really like that there’s no playground, because recess is kind of boring,” said one girl, Alessandra.
“I would have went on the slide,” a boy said.
“It’s horrible,” added second-grader Mateo.
And all of the kids at the school did things to raise money to get a playground. They set up iced tea and lemonade stands, and made rainbow bracelets for sale.
“We raised a lot of money for it, and it’s upsetting to hear that we’re not going to get a playground when we did so much to raise money for it,” Giana said.
The PTA also held a 5k race. They raised $60,000.
The Radburn Association said it is willing to meet with the school board to go over other locations for the playground, but for now, the kids are stuck playing on dirt, grass and pavement.
Radburn was one of the first planned communities in the United States.