Tuesday May 16, 2023 | COLWOOD, BC [Updated May 17, 2023]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
A new school playground funding ceiling was announced today by Education and Child Care Minister Rachna Singh.
Each of 25 schools across BC will receive up to $195,000 each for the cost of playground equipment and setup this year, from a total fund of $5 million. As many as 2,600 students will benefit province-wide.
The inflationary increases of today’s economy was the reason for the increase for each school, said Minister Singh today.
This is a continuation of the Playground Equipment Program (PEP) for a sixth year under the BC NDP government. The previous government did not provide playground funding to schools, leaving parent organizations to fundraise which delayed or eliminated playground opportunities for many schools during the 2001-2016 period.
Since 2018, the provincial government has supported students and families with $35 million for new playgrounds at now 256 schools to the benefit of more than 6,300 students. This fund builds on the Province’s commitment to provide safe learning environments for all students.
SD62 school in the list:
Within the west shore SD62 school district, Dunsmuir Middle School in Colwood is one of the recipient schools for 2023. Local MLA Mitzi Dean (Esquimalt-Metchosin) was pleased to hear about the funding for a school in her west shore riding.
SD62 allows use of school playgrounds by the general community after-hours.
Timeline for new Dunsmuir playground:
The Sooke School District (SD62) administration says they are engaging with playground companies for design options. “Design ideas will be presented to Dunsmuir Middle School students, staff and PAC for input,” says SD62 communications rep Kristen McGillivray. “Once ordered, the wait period to receive playground equipment can take several months.”
The new playground development won’t replace existing playground infrastructure.
“At this time, there are no plans to remove the current playground equipment. We are looking to add an accessibility feature to the current equipment and placement options for new equipment at a different location on the property,” says SD62.
The current student population at Dunsmuir Middle School is 721.
Other schools on Vancouver Island:
Other schools on Vancouver Island that will receive funding this year include Fulford Community Elementary (SD62 – Gulf Islands), Alberni Elementary (SD70 – Pacific Rim), Denman Island Community School (SD71 – Comox Valley), Pinecrest Elementary (SD72 – Campbell River), Lake Cowichan Elementary (SD79 – Cowichan Valley), Captain Meares Elementary-Secondary (SD84 – Vancouver Island West), Alert Bay Elementary (SD85 – Vancouver Island North).
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is professional regional journalism presented at islandsocialtrends.ca. Fully online as a daily news portal since mid-2020, Island Social Trends emerged from the path of previous print publications in the west shore: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).
Since 2008, journalist and editor Mary P Brooke has taken a socioeconomic lens to reporting and analyzing the news of the west shore and south Vancouver Island region, including BC and national news impacts. [See Island Social Trends Politics Archive]. She has covered the details of local, provincial and federal elections since 2008. As of 2023 Mary P Brooke reports with the BC Legislative Press Gallery.
Mary P Brooke has also focused on news of School District 62 (Langford, Colwood and Sooke) at the board level since 2014 [see Island Social Trends Education archive] and has covered West Shore Parks & Recreation over the years (particularly the transitional years 2014-2020, and again starting 2023). During 2020 and 2021 she reported daily on BC’s COVID pandemic news to build the ongoing COVID pandemic archive. Since 2021 she has been building a Food Security news archive. She is now covering the 2023 Langford-Juan de Fuca by-election.
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