Group accepts challenge to fundraise for new Poland playground

POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – A group in Poland volunteered to raise money to save the playground at North Elementary School.

Equipment at the North Community Playground needs to be painted. There are holes in the ground surface and the health department has deemed a bridge connecting two of the pieces unsafe.

“It needs some repair. We think anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 that it’s going to cost to do some repairing,” Superintendent David Janofa said.

The Poland School Board previously decided to let the owners of a campground dismantle the playground and take it away at no charge to the district.

But at the board meeting, the group looking to save the playground spoke up.

“I think it’s irresponsible that you do not consider allowing us to raise funds for the children on the north side of town to have a playground,” Evelyn Stanton said.

“We’re bickering over a playground. We have community members ready to take it on, and raise the funds, and champion to do this for our community and you guys want to give it away,” Renee Zuzan said.

Another issue with the playground is that the adjacent school building houses preschoolers and the equipment is not appropriate for them. One group member said a new playground would include equipment for preschoolers.

In the end, the school board said it will give the group’s fundraising plan a chance. Janofa also said he would listen to a plan to save the playground through donations and will not demolish it for now.

Annie Colucci, who lives across from the playground, said they’re already soliciting donations. They’ve received commitments but no money.

The school board is considering selling North Elementary, so Board Member Richard Weaver suggested that any plan include the ability to move new equipment to another school.

One woman at the meeting reminded everyone that the roof of the middle school is leaking and that they should be worrying about things more important than a playground. She said some of the buildings are “falling apart.”