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    New playground to open

    Parents at the J.C. Solmonese Elementary School hope to have the school’s new playground open by Jan. 25, assuming the weather cooperates. Volunteers are working with a construction company to build the space, which is designed for the students in kindergarten through Grade 3, according to parent organization cochairwoman Carolyn Gallagher. She said the playground includes three slides, bridges, and monkey bars, and has activities aimed at developing motor skills and socialization. The parent group raised $56,000 toward the project, and the school district contributed $20,000; the funds cover the cost of equipment, but no landscaping, she said. The ground will initially be surfaced with wood fiber because rubber material cannot be installed in winter. Gallagher called the project “a real community effort,” aided by donations of money and labor from inside and outside the school community.