ITEM PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
Mayor Brian M. Arrigo hands out high-fives as he gets ready to cut the ribbon for the brand-new playground.
By MATT DEMIRS
REVERE — Children crowded the front gate, their eyes fixed on the green and purple play structure and merry-go-round.
Minutes later, the ribbon was cut at the new playground at the Lincoln School.
Hundreds of students, parents, elected officials, volunteers, and residents gathered behind the elementary school as Mayor Brian M. Arrigo welcomed everyone to the park.
“I look forward to seeing all the happy faces on the playground,” he said. “None of this would be possible if it weren’t for the teamwork from everyone in our city to make it possible.”
Elle Baker, an organizer for Revere on the Move, whose mission is to encourage exercise and healthy eating in the community, spearheaded the project.
“We are excited to be bringing a brand new community living space,” she said. “Playgrounds promote sharing and physical activity. Now that is accessible to everyone.”
Ward 3 Councilor Arthur Guinasso told the children they should be happy.
“It was the parents who came out to the city government and said we need a place for our kids,” he said.
Revere businesses, officials, teachers, and parents built the playground, turning the dream into a reality.
Derek Paicentini, a parent of two Lincoln School students, volunteered to help build the play structure along with dozens of other parent-volunteers eager to create a place for their kids to enjoy.
“It means the world to be able to have this playground. It was all worth volunteering,” he said. “I’m so excited.”
Florinda Cacicio, a playground supporter and mother of Lincoln School students, said she is happy the playground is finally here.
“This is something that will bring the community together,” she said. “We plan on using it frequently.”
The number of parents at the opening ceremony nearly outnumbered the amount of students, said music teacher Lance MacDonald, adding that he was impressed with the turnout.
“There are more parents here today than there are at parent-teacher conferences,” he said.
Stacy Whittredge, a third-grade teacher at the Lincoln School, said she is happy that the new play area will give her students something to do at recess.
“Going from nothing to this means a lot to us,” Whittredge said.
Marcella Bonfardeci said her mother was thrilled for the opening of the playground.
“My mom is excited because my brother went here and she believed that we needed a safe place to play,” she said.
Before the playground’s construction, students played on the dirt field and basketball court, according to second-grader Caleigh Joyce.
Her friend, Chloe O’Neil, chimed in, “I’m really excited to be able to be able to have recess on the playground for the first time tomorrow.”
Matt Demirs can be reached at [email protected]