If you build it, will they come?



          That’s what a group of Kramer Elementary parents are hoping. For a couple of years, they’ve been trying to raise money for new playground equipment on the school’s campus.



          They’re doing it in part, of course, for their own kids. But the other part, says Wendy Stanley, who along with husband Marc has been heading up the fundraising, is to serve the needs of the community.



           “This neighborhood is full of young families that don’t necessarily send their kids to Kramer, but will use this park,” Stanley says. “People are very excited about it.”



          The issue of a new playground came up about two years ago at a PTA meeting. Much of the existing equipment is outdated and in need of repairs, Stanley says. For instance, the swing set was there when her husband went to Kramer in the mid- to late-’60s.



          Also, she says, there simply isn’t enough equipment to meet the needs of the school and the neighborhood.



“It’s getting crowded and difficult to get all the kids out there,” she says.



          The Stanleys have been trying to raise $150,000 for new pieces chosen by architect and parent Mattia Flabiano, including a climbing wall, strength station and an amphitheater to challenge students mentally as well as physically.



          “We want people to understand just how important it is for kids to get out and be active to maintain a healthy body and psychological well being,” Stanley says. “That’s a really important part of this — getting kids off game systems and computers and getting them outside again.”



          So far, donations total between $85,000-$90,000, with the largest donation of $30,000 coming from the Kramer PTA. Parents and alumni make up the rest. Next, Stanley says, they’ll look to the neighborhood, other alumni and corporate sponsors for the remaining funds needed.



          “It just takes a lot of time and a lot of individual effort to really get out there,” she says. “But we haven’t really even scraped the surface yet. I’m very confident we’re going to get to our goal and start construction by the holidays.



          “I hope to have grandchildren in this house one day, and I’d like them to play on that playground,” says Stanley , whose three children attend neighborhood schools (one is still at Kramer).



“I’m not near there yet, thank God. But it is important for me, and for our neighborhood, I think, to have it.”



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