You didn’t need a close inspection of the new playground at Hillcrest elementary school to determine its value, the screams of delight from the children told you all you needed to know.
Staff, students, parents and community partners gathered at Hillcrest last Friday for the official opening of the state-of-the-art playground, capped off with each of the 290 students taking their turn on the new 12-foot ‘hill slide’.
“It’s a great example of when different organizations in the community come together and support a project that will benefit students for many years,” said School District 61 associate superintendent Greg Kitchen, who also took a turn on the slide (pictured at left).
“Definitely I think what makes this project so unique and exciting is it’s so accessible for all students, students of all different levels and needs, and we all know how important it is for students to get outside and play.”
The $75,000 playground, which was completed over the summer, also includes a modern swing set as well as a wave ride (kind of like a long, multi-hinged teeter-totter).
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Grade 5 student Steve Said, who tries to get out to the playground every day for a turn on his favourite, the wave ride. “It’s a pretty busy place.”
Funding for the playground came from Hillcrest Elementary Out of School Care and Parent Advisory Committee reserves/start up funding, school-generated programs as well as community donations and grants.
“It was a lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of commitment from the partners involved to make it just right and perfect for the kids,” said Hillcrest principal Cammy Coughlin.
She pointed out the pour-in-place surface used for the playground flooring is the first of its kind in the school district.
“That was something the PAC was very adamant about, that it didn’t have a wood chip surface. They wanted something safe for the kids if they had a fall,” said Coughlin.