MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP — A new community playground scheduled to be built in Monroe County this week has now been pushed back. Volunteers say money issues are to blame.
The mulch deliveries have arrived, and the old Resica Community Playground is entirely gone.
The playground behind Resica Elementary was torn down just last month by volunteers. A newer and safer one was scheduled to be built right in its place this week.
At the last minute, volunteers say East Stroudsburg School District didn’t deliver on a $30,000 donation.
“From what we understood, it was a donation, like they gave to another one of our district schools to help them put up a playground. We’ve been talking to them for many, many months,” said Resica Community Playground volunteer Karen Conway.
Now the district’s business manager says this project on school property needs to be put out to bid and the money this $130,000 project needed is no longer there.
Kids playing nearby say they already miss what volunteers tore down for safety reasons.
“Very bad,” said one child. “Because I want to play on that playground.”
“We used to come here and the playground was really big and we thought it was going to be here and it’s not.”
Now volunteers are scraping together every penny they can, selling much of the old playground equipment online, they’ve also secured some private lenders so they can continue to build.
“The children in the community and the surrounding communities need some place to play, a safe place to play and this is the best spot,” said Conway.
Volunteers say they still need donations, workers, and materials to make this project work, but they won’t give up.
That’s something parents and kids say they’re thankful for.
“The new design, and is it going to be different? Is it going to be new? Is it going to be bigger? So yeah, we’re excited,” said Jeannette Roman, Middle Smithfield Township.
We reached out to officials at the East Stroudsburg Area School District for comment.
We have yet to hear back.
The build for the playground is now scheduled to begin in late August.