New Playground at School for the Deaf

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SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP -- For years, the Scranton School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children functioned without an essential part: a playground.

However, now that the school is in a new location and has a growing student body, officials gave the kids a new, special place to play.

For any kid a place to play can make all the difference.

“They didn't have any place to burn off steam. Also, they didn't have any place to call their own in terms of play," said Don Rhoten, C.E.O.

That's why, out of the long list of improvements to the Scranton School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children, the kids said the brand new playground is the best. The school moved to South Abington Township when officials said they outgrew the old facility in Scranton.

The kids said there's plenty of room to grow now.

"Before the gym was small, now the gymnasium is huge!" said Roger Rominski of Wilkes-Barre.

This week, school officials dedicated the new playground along with some other improvements: a renovated gymnasium, an indoor play area that they've never had before, and what's called the "synergistic lab," a hands-on classroom designed specifically for the kids.

The Scranton School bought the old Lourdesmont School last year and $4 million has been spent improving the building, but officials said there's still more to do.

The school is growing. Fifty-two students attend the school now, and that’s up almost 20 percent from last year. Officials hope to reach 75 students next year, and they said special attention to detail will bring those students to the school.

"If you look at all the landscaping which we did all ourselves, you see that we don't do anything half way. It's something that we are really very proud of,” said Rhoten.