New Democrat MLA Jennifer Rice says students at Nusatsum Elementary and Ecole Roosevelt Park Elementary will soon be playing on new accessible playgrounds, thanks to $330,000 in provincial funding, along with $3,882,862 in funding for school upgrades and new buses for the district.
“When outdoor play is a regular part of kids school routines, they have an easier time focusing in the classroom, learning how to share, and building conflict resolution skills,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “This funding coming from the program our government created to provide consistent funding for playgrounds, takes the burden of fundraising off parents and supports the vibrancy of school communities.”
This year, New Democrats are doubling the annual investment to $10 million to deliver 60 new playgrounds in 50 school districts. Central Coast 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.
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 Central Coast School District received $1,181,908 this year for projects which include:
- HVAC upgrades at Nusatsum Elementary
- LED lighting upgrades at Bella Coola Elementary, Nusatsum Elementary, SD Core building, and Sir Alexander Mackenzie Secondary
- Two new buses
Annual facilities maintenance grants have also supported school district 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