Long-awaited playground opens to anxious Fountain Hill Elementary students

Published: Oct 25 2013 03:49:57 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 25 2013 05:45:27 PM EDT
Fountain Hill playground
FOUNTAIN HILL, Pa. -

An agonizing wait is finally over for students at Fountain Hill Elementary School in Lehigh County.

For months, they've been watching their new playground take shape. They finally got to test it out Friday.

"I was looking at it like, 'When is this going to be done?' because I was really excited to have it," said Kira Dey-Lokay, a 5th grade student.

The Bethlehem Area School District condemned the old playground more than a  year ago.

"People were getting hurt because the playground was kind of broken," said Anthony Rosario, another 5th grader.

Students played outside, but admitted they wanted more. The school tried a video campaign to get grant money, but came in third place.

"We didn't win but not always everybody wins," said Humberto Gomez, a guidance counselor. "So, we have to cope with that."

Then, the Bethlehem Area School District, local businesses and community members helped secure the $60,000 needed to start construction.

Students kept tabs every step of the way.

"When they were building it, I just couldn't wait until everybody could play on it," said Rosario.

The wait was finally over Friday morning. They jumped on the bridge and then took the plunge.

Six-hundred students and a few teachers tried out the slide for the first time, and they couldn't wait to do it again.

The students got to go on only the slide for the first day. They'll get to play on the rest of the playground next week, and they already know where they're heading to first.

Fountain Hill playground #2

"The web and the slides," said Rosario

For now, the students get a sticker commemorating the big day and a smile to last a lifetime.

"That was wonderful to see everybody happy," added Dey-Lokay. "To finally get the playground, and we got to go on the slide to see what it's like and it was great."

And a chance to give thanks to a community that has allowed them to play once again.