Cold Lake Elementary School and Ashmont School students will have enhanced playgrounds to play on in the near future.
They are among 26 schools that will receive a funding boost totalling around $5 million, the province announced on Tuesday.
CLES is slated to receive $132,000, but according to Northern Lights Public Schools communications officer Nicole Garner plans for how the money will be spent still need to be made.
“This was a welcome surprise and we’re super excited about receiving this money. But before we can get anything started with it we need to take a look at what we’ll need. How we’re planning to do that is by meeting with parents and students and seeing what they want,” said Garner.
Garner predicts that it will be unlikely to have these meetings before the end of the school year, due to complications from COVID-19.
Ashmont School will receive $245,000 and plans are still being made on how the project will roll out.
The money comes from Alberta Education’s existing capital budget and will support 18 school divisions in building the new playgrounds, supplementing their fundraising efforts.
“Our government is proud to support school divisions with this new funding – especially now. Now more than ever it’s crucial to help projects like these move ahead for schools and communities during these challenging times,” said Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange.
“Playgrounds are extremely important to local communities and provide a place for all children to explore, develop and have fun.”
Alberta Education provides grant funding of up to $250,000 per school to support the construction of a playground for eligible projects. School communities looking to exceed $250,000 can use fundraising to supplement the project.
The additional funding is intended to address playgrounds at schools that were replaced on the same site as their original building and new school projects announced between April and December 2013 where the playground has not yet been built.
“We’re pleased to see this additional money for playgrounds not previously funded. Alberta School Councils’ Association members support government funding for playground facilities,” said ASCA president Brandi Rai.
“Physical activity and social interaction are essential in student development and well-being. School councils often work with their parent fundraising associations for years before funding is obtained to complete playground projects that are fundamental to the school community.”