School District 52 will benefit from $1,484,954 in maintenance grants, and students at Ecole Roosevelt Park Elementary School will soon be playing on new accessible playgrounds, thanks to $165,000 in provincial funding, Jennifer Rice MLA for the North Coast announced, on Sept. 10.
“When outdoor play is a regular part of kids’ school routines, they have an easier time focusing in the classroom, learning how to share, and building conflict resolution skills,” Rice stated in a media release. “This funding, coming from the program our government created to provide consistent funding for playgrounds, takes the burden of fundraising off parents and supports the vibrancy of school communities.”
The funding comes from the Playground Equipment Program (PEP), created in 2018 with the additional promise from the provincial NDP government to double the annual investment to $10 million this year to deliver 60 new playgrounds in 50 school districts.
“This increase will allow the playgrounds to be designed with accessible features like ground cover, ramps and/or transfer platforms that connect to the play structure – to ensure there’s a place for all students to play. The playground(s) will be built over the next year and are expected to be ready for kids to play on by early 2022,” the media release stated.
More than 49,000 students have benefited from $25 million, which the provincial government has invested since 2018 to supply new equipment and build playgrounds.
Included in the provincial announcement is that $240.5 million will be distributed in maintenance grants across the province, in which SD 52 schools can expect a variety of maintenance upgrades such as HVAC upgrades at Charles Hays Secondary and Ecole Roosevelt Park; Plumbing upgrades at Conrad Elementary, Hartley Bay Elem-Jr Secondary, Lax Kxeen Elementary, Pineridge Elementary, Port Edward Elementary, Prince Rupert Middle, Roosevelt Park Elementary with funding.
Under the provincial acquisition program, SD 52 will also receive funding for one new school bus.
Norman Galimski | Journalist
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