VANCOUVER – New Democrat MLAs David Eby, Mable Elmore, George Heyman, Melanie Mark and Niki Sharma say Vancouver students will soon be playing on new accessible playgrounds at Sir Richard McBride Elementary and Lord Tennyson Elementary, thanks to $330,000 in provincial funding, as well as benefitting from $1,483,050 for upgrades at five additional schools in the district.
This year, New Democrats are doubling the annual investment to $10 million to deliver 60 new playgrounds in 50 school districts. The Vancouver School District received $165,000 for each for 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 playgrounds 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 Vancouver School District received $1,483,050 this year for projects which include:
- Electrical and fire system upgrades at Lord Byng Secondary
- Interior construction at Chief Maquinna Elementary, David Livingstone Elementary, and Lord Selkirk Elementary
- HVAC upgrades at Bayview Community Elementary
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.
“Our government is investing in the education and well-being of children. With upgrades coming to David Livingston Elementary and a new accessible playground on its way to Sir Richard McBride Elementary, these schools will continue to be great learning environments for kids in our community for years to come.”
Mable Elmore, MLA for Vancouver-Kensington
“Every child deserves a place to play and after years of underfunding from the previous government, our New Democrat government is taking action to provide new, universally accessible playgrounds across our province. Today’s announcement is great news for the students and families of Lord Tennyson Elementary.”
George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview
“Our kids, teachers, administrators and school staff deserve access to safe and comfortable schools. After years of neglect by previous governments, we’re getting our schools back on track. This funding will support important health and safety improvements for the students and staff at Lord Byng Secondary and Bayview Elementary.”
David Eby, MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey
“Parents of students at Lord Selkirk Elementary should have confidence that our New Democrat government is investing in their future. Today’s funding will ensure that students and staff can learn and work in a safe and healthy revitalized environment.”
Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant
“For too long, students suffered from funding cuts that negatively impacted their schools and quality of education. Our government is doing things differently and fixing aging infrastructure so kids at Chief Maquinna Elementary have a safer, more comfortable place to learn and play.”
Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings
School maintenance grants: https://news.gov.bc.ca/24466