Red Deer’s West Park Middle School one of 26 to get new playground

West Park Middle School playground getting $250,000

Twenty-six playground projects across Alberta that had not previously been funded will now move forward thanks to a boost of $5 million. Red Deer School Division is getting $250,000 for West Park Middle School.

Alberta Education recently expanded its playground funding criteria to get more playgrounds built than would have otherwise. This funding comes from the existing capital budget and will support 18 school divisions in building the new playgrounds, supplementing their fundraising efforts.

“Our government is proud to support school divisions with this new funding – especially now,” said Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education in a statement today.

“It is crucial, now more than ever, to help projects like these move ahead for schools and communities during these challenging times. Playgrounds are extremely important to local communities and provide a place for all children to explore, develop and have fun.”

Alberta Education provides grant funding of up to $250,000 per school to support the construction of a playground for eligible projects. School communities that wish to exceed $250,000 can use fundraising to supplement the project.

The additional funding is intended to address playgrounds at schools that were replaced on the same site as their original building and new school projects announced between April and December 2013 where the playground has not yet been built.

“We are pleased to see this additional money for playgrounds not previously funded. ASCA members support government funding for playground facilities. Physical activity and social interaction are essential in student development and well-being,” said Brandi Rai, president, Alberta School Councils Association.

“School councils often work with their parent fundraising associations for years before funding is obtained to complete playground projects that are fundamental to the school community.”

Grant funding remains available to those schools that have not received the Education playground grant to upgrade or replace an existing playground through the Community Facility Enhancement Program.

Moving forward, any new school with K-6 programming will have funding for a playground included in their capital budgets.

Playground stock photo