British Columbia

New playgrounds coming to B.C. schools

50 schools in 34 school districts across the province will be getting new standard and accessible playgrounds

NDP Government announces funding for 50 new playgrounds

The new provincial announcement brings the total number of provincially-funded playgrounds to 101. (Shutterstock)

The province will fund 50 new playgrounds in 34 school districts by fall, the B.C. Education minister has announced.

Playgrounds are a key factor in a child's development and learning, Education Minister Rob Fleming said Friday, and the province wanted to be a part of that.

The announcement marks the second time the province has set aside money for new playgrounds in B.C. schools. In May 2018, Premier John Horgan announced $5 million for school playgrounds.

The latest announcement brings the total number of provincially-funded playgrounds to 101.

Gary Wong, chair of the Burnaby Board of Education, said the funding will result in three new playgrounds in that community.

"A playground is so central to the student experience that when the structure is past its prime, the entire school community feels the strain of it," Wong said in a statement

Typically, parents and parent advisory committees take on the task of fundraising for new or upgraded playgrounds, but Fleming said it was time to reduce the pressure on parents.

"As a parent, I understand firsthand how tough it can be for schools and parents to find the time and volunteers to fundraise for playground equipment and activities," Fleming said in a statement.

The cost of each new playground slated for construction ranges between $90,000 and $105,000. 

The province said the location of the new playgrounds will be determined by need. Priority will be given to schools where there are no playground, followed by schools where the existing one is aging.

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