Construction on the final piece of the Where Angels Play project that remembers the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting is set to begin in September.
The playground will be in memory of Principal Dawn Hochsprung and will be located in Watertown. As the building of the new playground begins, it comes at a time when others have been vandalized.
Veterans Memorial Park in Watertown will be transformed in honor of Hochsprung, just like the other parks that have the playgrounds.
Ken Flaherty of Watertown takes his 2-year-old daughter Carina to the playground at Veterans Memorial Park nearly every day.
“This is our escape. After school and work, we come here to enjoy the day,” Flaherty said.
Hochsprung’s daughter, Erica Lafferty, said the playground will be the last one built, and the closest to Newtown. Watertown also is the home of her four grandchildren.
“It’s amazing to finally have something happy to kind of tie to a horrible thing that happened. It’s good to be able to have something to look forward to,” Lafferty said. “I just wanted it to be a happy place where they can go and remember their grandmother.”
Project developers have built the playgrounds around the personalities and interests of those they’re remembering. So Lafferty said she expects to see a nautical theme at the Watertown park since the family had a sailboat.
“It’ll have pirates and poodles involved, definitely some sailboats and just the general happiness my mom brought to everyone we’re hoping to bring to this park,” Lafferty said, adding that the park is busy on the weekends with very little empty parking places, so she knows it will be used.
Some of the playgrounds that have already been built have been vandalized, and the man allegedly behind the stolen signs was captured on Friday. Lafferty said she hopes it is an isolated incident.
“The utter disrespect of people vandalizing them, taking things from them. It’s mind boggling,” she added.
Watertown Police Chief John Gavallas said the park is constantly patrolled, and even more so during the summer.
Watertown officials were expected to meet on Monday evening to go over the details and finalize the project. Construction is expected to begin in September.
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