Four boys killed in a recent house fire will be memorialized by young friends, their teachers and community members with a playground to be built at Norwood Elementary School in Dundalk, where two of the children were pupils.
Administrators and teachers at Norwood hope to raise about $45,000 to pay for the plastic and metal play set and erect it before the end of December, Principal Harry Walker said yesterday.
The play area will be dedicated in memory of James McCready, 10; Brandon McCready, 6; Raymond Jamison, 12; and Jacob Jamison, 10 -- stepbrothers who were killed Sept. 3 when a fire swept through their house in Dundalk.
Also killed in the fire were the boys' parents, Raymond G. Jamison, 36, and his wife, Marie S. Jamison, 33. Investigators later ruled the fire an accident.
"After the tragedy, we got together and started to talk about what we could do to pay tribute to these children," Walker said. "We talked about planting trees or putting up a plaque, but a playground just seemed like a perfect match."
Especially because the boys liked to play on jungle gyms and parallel bars, said Theresa LaFollette of Dundalk, Raymond and Jacob Jamison's grandmother.
"They were climbers, they were active boys," LaFollette said yesterday. "I'm very delighted that the school is doing this for all [four of] the children."
The boys' deaths hit Norwood Elementary staff and pupils especially hard -- all four attended the school at one time, Walker said. "The playground project will be really good for the community and the staff because it gives us something positive to make out of this tragedy," Walker said.
Norwood Elementary staff, parents and other supporters have raised about $10,000 toward the $45,000 goal, he said. The playground will be handicapped-accessible, he said.
Those wishing to contribute to the Jamison-McCready Memorial Playground Fund can send a check made out to the Baltimore County Public Schools Education Foundation, 6901 Charles St., Towson, 21204. Specify that the money is to be used for the playground.