A groundbreaking was held on Friday for a new playground at the Alfred J. Gomes School in New Bedford.

State Senator Mark Montigny was among wielding a shovel during the ceremony.

Montigny was able to secure a $60,000 budget earmark to help pay for the playground which he says provides a needed break for students engaged in a high pressure learning environment.

"The main thing is just letting kids be kids because they're under so much pressure these days," said Montigny "everything is about testing and things that, you know, I'm sure there are arguments that they're important, but what's more important than letting kids be kids."

Ward 4 City Councilor Dana Rebeiro agreed with Montigny on the importance of playgrounds saying that they provide students with learning opportunities they won't find in the classroom.

"In class it's very regimented, you've got a teacher telling you what to do, but in a playground kids are able to learn negotiations and leadership skills and how to include other children so those are life lessons and leadership lessons that they'll carry on with them forever," said Rebeiro.

The school's Parent-Teacher Organization also raised $16,000 to help pay for the playground and PTO President Beverly Tavares says that, while the playground will be used by students, she wants to see both the playground and the gardens become a gathering point for the entire community.

"We want to make this a really family friendly, family oriented, place that they can come and bring a picnic lunch," said Tavares "we're going to get picnic tables and we're going to have park benches here so that they can come and spend a day here."

Tavares says they hope to have a ribbon cutting for the new playground by the end of June.