Students and staff at Franklin Elementary School in Syracuse unveiled a brand new playground with a ribbon cutting Tuesday morning, complete with a countdown.
"One, two three, Yaayyy!" the children cheered.
The old equipment was outdated to the point where slides and swings became dangerous for kids to use. Principal Kim Coyne who is now in her seventh year with the school says the project has been a long time coming.
"This playground means everything to us. We've had a playground that was in disarray, and missing parts. Then it got unsafe, so we had to take parts of it down...to now have a place to play that they are safe on the playground because it's brand new means everything."
Coyne expects hundreds of children to get daily use of the playground, which she says will especially benefit the number of students learning English as a new language.
"Play transcends all languages. Being a 35 percent ENL population, it is another place we can go and play together. It really takes those limits and barriers away, so it's wonderful."
There are a number of physical, emotional and social health benefits kids can get out of the new play area. Onondaga County Health Commissioner Doctor Indu Gupta says the playground will help grow brain development.
"It is a perfect opportunity for kids just to go out and just be kids and have fun. It's really important tfor them to connect with the school. That helps with academic growth. Because kids, when they're feeling positive about themselves, having positive interactions with their friends, they will be able achieve better. We know that from research."
The Franklin Elementary School community voted for the park to come equipped with slides, a rock climbing wall and swings. All equipment is red and black to show school spirit. Onondaga County, St. Joseph's, the Syracuse City School District, and non-profit KaBOOM helped to fund the new Northside playground.