BPS officials promised students at the Sumner School in Roslindale today that their arson-ravaged playground would be rebuilt in time for the opening of school in September.
At a ceremony at which kids thanked the firefighters of Ladder 16 and Engine 53 in Roslindale for keeping the fire from spreading, officials praised the kids for their reaction to the fire - they raised $277.45 in a lemon-aid sale - and parents and local businesses, who have so far kicked in more than $60,000.
Assistant Fran Campbell said The Cooperative Bank donated $500 - and hula hoops and chalk. Tomorrow, 20% of the proceeds from food sold at California Pizza Kitchens across the state will go to the playground fund.
Boston Fire Commissioner Joe Finn thanked the school's 600 students for all their thanks for the local firefighters who put out the firet. "It was a tragic day," he said. "It's OK to be upset when something bad happens," but the Sumner School kids and teachers have turned that into something good, he continued.
Kids who want to be firefighters when they grow up raise hands:
Students acknowledged their sadness at the fire - for which two teens and an adult face charges. "I made so many memories at that playground and now they're all burned up, Taylor Jones, a fifth grader, said.
Senior Deputy School Superintendent Barbara Williams said that in addition to installing a new playground and rubberized "safety surface," BPS will also install a new surveillance system and new plantings.
Two California Pizza Kitchen workers also addressed the kids - and got a hearty round of "Yippee!" when they said they came with cookies.
Firefighters from Engine 53 and Ladder 16 drove up and gave the kids tours of their trucks: