Big Valley council helps with playground costs

Big Valley School (BVS) Playground Committee and Friends of Big Valley School are fundraising and working on grant applications to repair and replace its playground equipment, and Big Valley village council will send a letter of support for this project.

Correspondence requesting the village council’s support was presented at the regular Thursday, November 10 council meeting, and council members voted in favour of writing a letter of support for their endeavours.

“The focus of all the phases (of the project) is to provide safe equipment that meets the needs of all age groups attending the school,” says Chair of the BVS Playground Committee and Friends of Big Valley School Christy Rivett. “Much of our current playground equipment is older and needs repair or replacement.”

Currently there are some 95 students from Kindergarten to Grade 9 enrolled at Big Valley School, along with a playschool group for children between the ages of three and five, who utilize the school’s playground. Ms. Rivett notes most of the usable playground equipment is “most suitable for elementary aged students,” and one of the goals is to make it usable for its older students while also keeping future students in mind.

While the Alberta government offers grants for new schools to build new playgrounds, this funding is not available for existing schools, leaving the committee to fundraise and look for other grant funding opportunities.

The committee hopes to raise a total of $250,000 to complete three phases of the project, which will include repairs, upgrades, equipment replacement, and construction of larger structures for older students.

At this time no contractor has been selected and plans for the project are still being developed. It is anticipated the project will take about two years to complete.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, DrumhellerMail.com, The Drumheller Mail