Kitchener-Waterloo·Audio

Keatsway students vote on school's next playground

Students at Keatsway Public School in Waterloo chose their three favourite playground structures designed by first-year civil engineering students from the University of Waterloo.

Jungles, pirates and ships dominate playground structure pitches

UW student Omar says they all had individual ideas in their heads which changed after they met with the students to find out what they wanted. (design provided by University of Waterloo.)

Jungles, pirates and ships were the dominant themes of playground structures pitched by first-year civil engineering students from the University of Waterloo to students at Keatsway Public School in Waterloo, who oohed, ahhed, and cheered when the designs were revealed during during a Tuesday assembly.

The elementary students voted on the designs and, when the lots were counted, two jungle-themed structures and one with a lot of colour came out as the top three.

The winning designs were Welcome to the Jungle, The Jungle Jim, and The Colourful Playground.

Student Alex voted for The Colourful Playground "cause it had a Gaga Ball pit and it had the tall drums and slides and lots of other stuff," she said.

UW student Kevin said his group created The Jungle Jim design, which came in second place, themselves. (design provided by the University of Waterloo)

Principal Lori Briscoe said co-ordination between the elementary school and the University of Waterloo was amazing.  

"What the [Keatsway students] learned from it is that they can make an impact and they can have a voice in what they want," Briscoe said. "So giving all the feedback to the university students, I think, was the best part of it for them."

UW student Jessica said the plan was to design the structure for the students for them to enjoy it. (design provided by the University of Waterloo)

That sentiment was shared by university student Adam Thompson,  who said meeting with the Keatsway students enabled his team to capture what all the grades wanted in the playground.

"Being able to have consultations with the kids, we got a lot of really good ideas that they gave to us that we could really build a structure that they wanted and...build a design around their needs," he said.

Students and their parents will vote on the final playground design at and end-of-year function.

The school needs to raise the $75,000 before the structure can be built.