Ucluelet Elementary School’s campus is about to receive a $165,000 boost of fun as the province has announced a new playground is coming. (Andrew Bailey photo)

Ucluelet Elementary School’s campus is about to receive a $165,000 boost of fun as the province has announced a new playground is coming. (Andrew Bailey photo)

New $165K playground coming to Ucluelet Elementary School

Port Alberni’s John Howitt Elementary is also receiving a $165,000 playground

The happy laughter pulsating from Ucluelet Elementary School is about to get a little bit louder as B.C.’s provincial government has announced a new $165,000 playground is on the way.

“The past year has shown us just how important it is to have access to quality, outdoor play spaces, not only for kids, but for the overall health of families,” Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osborne said through a Sept. 10 announcement. “That’s why this year we doubled the playground fund our government created so school communities have access to consistent funding for the playgrounds that kids need.”

Port Alberni’s John Howitt Elementary is also receiving a $165,000 playground and both playgrounds are expected to be ready to be rocked in early 2022.

The announcement suggests the provincial government is investing $10 million to build 60 new playgrounds in 50 school districts throughout B.C. through its Playground Equipment Program created in 2018 to help communities purchase playground equipment while easing the fundraising burden on parents.

The fund has dished out $25 million for 201 new playgrounds since its inception in 2018, according to the announcement.

“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,” it reads.

It adds that School District 70 has also received $1,158,000 of provincial funding this year for heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades at Bamfield Community School, Eric J Dunn Elementary School, and Wickaninnish Community School.

“Annual facilities maintenance grants have also supported school districts to plan and budget for upgrades and maintenance to school ventilation as students return to class,” the announcement states. “These investments are a part of the province’s commitment to update infrastructure in B.C. schools to provide safe, enjoyable, and accessible learning environments.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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