Mission’s Edwin S. Richards Elementary School is going to be the home of a new accessible playground, according to a provincial government press release.
Abbotsford’s Centennial Park Elementary will also be getting a new accessible playgrounds. The two projects are possible thanks to $330,000 in provincial funding, along with over $3 million in funding for school upgrades and new buses between both districts.
“So many of our memories of school days occur in those moments with our peers in between classes or at the end of the day,” said Abbotsford-Mission MLA Pam Alexis.
“Our government knows that this funding, to make sure that schools across the province have more accessible playgrounds, will mean that all children can partake in the fun.”
This year, the BC government is doubling the annual investment to $10 million to deliver 60 new playgrounds in 50 school districts. Mission and Abbotsford school districts 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 playgrounds will be built over the next year and are expected to be ready for kids to play on by early 2022.
“One of the things this pandemic has taught us is how important it is to make sure kids get outside and play,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission. “Our government is delivering for kids by committing to these accessible playgrounds, along with energy efficient upgrades to multiple schools across the province.”
According to the release, 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.
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.
Mission School District (#75) received $1,143,448 this year for projects which include:
n Roofing upgrades at Stave Falls Elementary;
n LED lighting upgrades at Deroche Elementary, Ecole Heritage Park Middle, Mission Central Elementary and Windebank Elementary;
n One new bus in the district.