School One Students Sign Petition Against Prosposed School Parking Lot in Scotch Plains-Fanwood

Emily DeGaetano took the microphone at the BOE meeting on Tuesday and brought along a petition signed by her classmates. Credits: John Mooney

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- When Emily DeGaetano, a third grader at School One, learned that the field behind her school might be reduced to make way for an new parking lot she went into action and started a petition.

"I got so upset because I thought about Field Day. The boys playing football on the field," Emily said. "If there is no Field Day, kids who never experienced it would never have the chance. That's our field."

Not all of the second and third grade students at the school were aware of the developments, so Emily explained what the petition was about to those who asked.

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"More than 165 kids have signed," stated Emily, who learned about the parking issue when she heard a teacher discussing it at school. "My mother said that she has not spoken to one parent who is in favor of this. They are upset about the potential loss of green space."

Last week, SPFK12 Schools Superintendent Dr. Margaret Hayes and Business Administrator Deborah Saridaki discussed the parking plans at both the Fanwood Borough Council and the Scotch Plains Township Council. The proposal calls for 61 new parking spots, required by a Scotch Plains ordinance, to be built in the field between School One and Park Middle School. The cost is estimated at $600,000.

"Kids can make a change in this world, and I hope my plan works to stop the parking lot. All the kids at School One are behind me," Emily said.

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