NORTH VANCOUVER – New Democrat MLAs Bowinn Ma and Susie Chant say students at Lynnmour Elementary and Queen Mary Community Elementary will soon be playing on new accessible playgrounds, thanks to $330,000 in provincial funding, along with $1,350,000 in funding for school upgrades and new buses for the district.
“For far too long, parents in North Vancouver have been left to carry the burden of raising funds for something as basic as safe playground equipment at schools,” says Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver – Lonsdale. “Students at Lynnmour Elementary and Queen Mary Community Elementary will now join Larson, Norgate, and Westview in being able to enjoy brand-new playgrounds.”
“All kids deserve the opportunity to have a safe place to play outside and with this additional funding, kids will have access to new, safe, and accessible playgrounds,” said Susie Chant, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour. “Playgrounds are central to children’s healthy development allowing them outdoors spaces where they can play, learn, and grow.”
This year, New Democrats are doubling the annual investment to $10 million to deliver 60 new playgrounds in 50 school districts. North Vancouver School District received $165,000 for each new accessible playground, up $40,000 from previous years. This increase will allow the playgrounds to be designed with accessible features like ground cover, ramps and/or transfer platforms that connect to the play structure – to ensure there’s a place for all students to play. The playground(s) will be built over the next year and are expected to be ready for kids to play on by early 2022.
Playgrounds help kids stay active outdoors while learning to share, build conflict resolution skills and overcome challenges. Playing outside reduces anxiety and improves focus, helping kids to learn in the classroom.
This funding comes from the Playground Equipment Program (PEP), created in 2018 to reduce the burden of fundraising on parents and help communities buy the playground equipment students need. Since 2018, the New Democrat government has invested $25 million to fund 201 new playgrounds at schools throughout the province, benefiting more than 49,000 students.
Students will also benefit from upgraded and more energy-efficient learning environments, with $240.5 million in school maintenance grants distributed across the province this year. The North Vancouver School District received $1,350,000 this year for projects which include:
- HVAC and dust collector upgrades at Mountainside Secondary
- Exterior wall systems at Mountainside Secondary
Annual facilities maintenance grants have also supported school districts to plan and budget for upgrades and maintenance to school ventilation as students return to class. These investments are a part of the Province’s commitment to update infrastructure in B.C. schools to provide safe, enjoyable, and accessible learning environments. The New Democrat government has delivered historic levels of funding to B.C. schools, including $1.2 billion for new and improved schools for B.C. students in Budget 2021.
School maintenance grants: https://news.gov.bc.ca/24466