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Eastgate kids 'just love' parent-built playground

The children of Eastgate and the Technology Children's Center have a new playground, thanks to a large group of volunteers who spent a hot Saturday in July building it.

"It's a wonderful playground. The children just love it!" said Olga Slocum, director of TCC. "I'm crediting how well they're sleeping at nap time to the fun they're having out there."

The playground was constructed by about 50 volunteers, mostly families in the TCC daycare program, parents from Eastgate, members of TCC's board of trustees and other friends. The group, armed with drills, post hole diggers and cement, started at 7am on Saturday, July 29, and finished the day's work at 6:30pm, having put together four slides-one a tube, two straight and one a corkscrew- a bridge, three towers, a swing set, monkey bars, a spiral firefighters pole and a crawling tunnel. The next week, Physical Plant donated time to build the perimeter borders and fill the play area with shredded wood chips to make a safe play surface.

The playground was made possible financially by donations from a variety of individuals as well as funds from William R. Dickson, MIT senior vice president, Victoria V. Sirianni, director of Physical Plant, and the MIT Department of Housing.

"The community really came together to make the playground happen," Ms. Slocum said.

The playground's official opening was held earlier this month when Mr. Dickson and Ms. Sirianni cut a ribbon around one of the towers

with Professor Chris Marone and project architect Melanie Brothers. Dr. is a parent of a child attending TCC and president of its board. After the ribbon-cutting, individuals who made major financial contributions to the project left their hand prints in cement near the sandbox. A very small donor left a footprint as his mark.

Technology Children's Center provides care for children ages 2 to 7 in centers at Eastgate and Westgate. While most families have an MIT affiliation, enrollment is open to non-MIT families as well.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 30, 1995.

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