Students will arrive to school in the fall of 2019 to a new playground. File photo

Students will arrive to school in the fall of 2019 to a new playground. File photo

Unsworth to receive $90,000 for new playground

Playground to be ready for students in the fall, says ministry of education

The parents at Unsworth elementary have been diligently fundraising for a new playground, and soon they can focus on planning it.

The school is one of 50 across the province that will be receiving funding toward a new play area, in the total of $90,000. It’s part of $5 million announcement made last week by Rob Fleming, minister of education. The playgrounds will be built over the next six months and are expected to be ready for kids to play on in fall 2019. A similar commitment was made last year, with a focus on accessible playgrounds. AD Rundle was last year’s local recipient.

The Unsworth Parent Advisory Council is also waiting for another grant, and if that were to come through they can move onto fundraising for other projects to help the school. The funding will help replace an aging playground that will soon need to be torn down. The new playground will be have wheelchair accessible features.

School districts apply for this specific funding by sending a list of priorities in their capital plan submissions in June each year. The ministry of education says the playgrounds are being funded based on greatest need. Priority is given to schools where there is no playground, then to schools where the existing playground is aging. Districts that did not receive funding this year may receive funding next year, if they apply for it.

Schools needing a standard playground receive $90,000, and those needing an accessible playground receive $105,000.

“As a parent, I understand first-hand how tough it can be for schools and parents to find the time and volunteers to fundraise for playground equipment and activities,” said Fleming. “Our government is committed to improving the learning environment at B.C. schools — safe, fun and accessible playgrounds are very much part of delivering on this commitment. And to make this happen, parents should not have to become dedicated fundraisers in their spare time.”

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