Money for school playgrounds will start rolling in soon, and that should include Discovery Passage Elementary.
Peter Neale, secretary-treasurer for School District 72 announced at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting that the school district will soon receive $100,000 to build adventure-style playgrounds at Campbell River’s two middle schools, Phoenix and Southgate.
Neither school currently has a playground, but they’re on the list for a one-time grant of $50,000 each from a capital program announced by the province. The schools, parents and students will soon begin a consultation process regarding the new playgrounds, and Neale said he expects many “wins around the table.”
Board trustee Warren Harle then asked about Discovery Passage Elementary.
“In this win-win situation does Discovery Passage still lose-lose,” Harle asked.
The school’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) fundraised for seven years to obtain an addition to the school’s playground, and it was built. However, early this year, the old part of the playground equipment was taken down by the school district due to safety issues, leaving the school with only the new, smaller piece of playground equipment. Neale said he doesn’t believe the school will be left out by the capital program, and pointed out that it actually has three phases. Phase one grants funds to elementary and middle schools with no playground – like Phoenix and Southgate – but phase two is reimbursement to schools and parent groups that purchased and installed playgrounds during 2011. While Neale acknowledged that the project at Discovery Passage school was started in 2010, he expects the PAC will be reimbursed.
“The timing of the purchase may have been a little bit off, but because we installed it and we excepted that playground equipment in the window (of time), we have applied on their behalf to get reimbursement,” explained Neale.
He is awaiting a confirmation letter from the province, but expects the $8000 in reimbursement.