It took nearly two years, but PS 251 has its playground back.
Students at the Springfield Gardens school, smiling brightly and bundled in their winter coats, welcomed the play area last Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“I’m just as excited as the students are,” said Principal Edna Loncke. “They deserve to have a good playground, so they can have their physical activity, and they can have fun at school.”
The playground was destroyed in early 2011 when developer Our Conduit Ltd. of Great Neck, LI, purchased several homes along the South Conduit, got permission from the city to run a sewer line under the playground and completely tore up the area.
“Not long ago a mean man came to this part of town, and he said he was going to make a lot of money, but to do it he had to rip up your playground, and he did,” explained City Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton). “He ripped up your playground and tore it to bits.”
But thanks to Sanders’ continued efforts, along with those of parents, teachers and civic leaders like George and Annette Bradley, as well as continuing coverage by the Chronicle, the playground has been restored.
The new area includes a jungle gym, a slide and floor games and cost about $400,000, according to the city Department of Education.
“Without you and the Chronicle and the community’s support, and Councilman Sanders, this couldn’t have happened,” Annette Bradley said. “You have been with us from the beginning. I really want to thank you, and each of these children now has an example of what can happen if you commit and you work.”