Schools in need of playground replacement include Bernard elementary

District seeks clarification on playground funds

Chilliwack school district is in discussions with the Ministry of Education on whether the playground funding recently allotted to middle schools can be redistributed to elementary schools in need.

Chilliwack school district is in discussions with the Ministry of Education on whether the playground funding recently allotted to middle schools can be redistributed to elementary schools in need.

The school district has nine elementary schools with playgrounds in need of replacing and one in need of upgrading. Yet, the provincial government awarded three Chilliwack middle schools $50,000 each for new playgrounds.

“We are in discussions with the ministry about what could possibly happen with that funding,” said district superintendent Michael Audet.

“Our director of operations has contacted the ministry to have some further clarification about that decision and to let them know that we don’t have playgrounds at any of our middle schools.”

Last spring the Ministry of Education asked districts across B.C. which of their schools didn’t have playgrounds including middle schools.

Chilliwack responded, listing its middle schools.

The ministry then inquired as to which of their schools had playgrounds in need of upgrades.

Chilliwack sent a list of 10 elementary schools; nine in need of replacement and one in need of upgrades.

Two weeks ago they were notified that G.W. Graham middle secondary, Vedder middle and Rosedale traditional were selected for the new playgrounds.

As reported in The Progress last week, district officials, as well as elementary school parents, were confused as to why G.W. Graham and Vedder middle would be chosen. (Rosedale traditional made sense as it will be a kindergarten to Grade 9 school come the new year.)

Audet said no decisions regarding the funding have yet been made, and that the district may not be able to redistribute the funding at all.

“Right now, what we’re trying to do is clarify and eliminate the confusion,” he said.

Schools in need of playground replacement include Bernard elementary, Cheam elementary, Central elementary, East Chilliwack elementary, FG Leary elementary, Little Mountain elementary, McCammon elementary and Sardis elementary. Unsworth elementary’s playground requires equipment upgrades.

kbartel@theprogress.com

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