BURRILLVILLE – While it is still unclear how the state will handle the reopening of public schools in the fall, when students finally return to one Burrillville elementary school they will be greeted with playground equipment that allows more students to play – even more safely than when they left.

The Austin T. Levy Elementary School Parent Teacher Association has purchased a $14,000 piece for the school playground, with slides, a safe climbing wall and space for up to 24 children. 

“A bunch of kids can use it at a time,” said PTA Treasurer Stephanie Arpin, who led the project to acquire the new piece. 

Arpin said money for the project was raised through the AT Levy Fun Run, held in October. The PTA’s goal, she noted, was to put aside $2,000 from the event for the future purchase, but the run was far more successful than expected, bringing in $25,000 for the school. 

“We thought initially we couldn’t do it this year, but we were able to,” said Arpin. “It’s exciting.”

The equipment was purchased from New England Recreation Group, and while students aren’t around to use it just yet, members of the volunteer parent group said they’re glad to give the school community something to look forward to.

“The team has worked so hard this year and I know everyone feels a bit disappointed we couldn’t finish out the year with how we planned it, but really wanted to give them all a shout out for such an amazing job,” said volunteer coordinator Carissa Leveille Nylin. 

The new piece has already been installed at the Harrisville Main Street school, and Arpin noted that the PTA hopes to have some type of unveiling for the upgraded playground when it’s safe for the kids to be able to play.   

“We’re just thrilled that we were able to pull this off and purchase such an expensive piece of equipment, and we hope that Levy family will be able to enjoy it for years to come,” Arpin said.  

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