Gray Elementary’s newest playground is officially open for recess.
Although students have been enjoying the playground since the start of the school year, the structure was only given its grand opening on Friday, March 9.
The school’s PAC had been fundraising for the playground since 2015, just after they installed the first new playground at the front of the school.
“As soon as we put up the new playground … that next weekend someone set fire and took an axe to the wooden structure that was here,” Baumeister said. “So then we got into the planning stage knowing that we had to put in a new playground.”
The students were given significant input into the project: surveys were given out to each class to ask what they would want in a playground (zip lines and telephone pieces were most popular), and were given the definitive vote on the two final designs.
In total, the parents raised $61,000 of the $96,000 playground price. The remaining $35,000 came from a grant from the City of Delta, as well as an additional $20,000 of in-kind work to prepare the site space.
The new playground features a number of different elements, including slides, a fire pole, climbing walls, monkey bars and steppers. It also has two accessible play items, for students in wheelchairs or with low mobility, and was given a bright colour scheme to make it easier for students with sight problems.
The playground was built in one day back in August, PAC chair Amy Burden said.
“Parents and uncles and cousins and brothers, and a whole bunch of people showed up for a Saturday, and we built it in a day,” she said.
Students had been able to play on the playground since the beginning of school, but several joined the grand opening to play on it after its official opening.
“Playgrounds are an extension of the classroom,” Delta School Board trustee Nick Kanakos said at the opening. “Children get an opportunity to play, learn and interact with others on a daily basis. They are learning environments outside of traditional classrooms. They are windows into the outside world, in which we learn to be contributing members of society.”