Parents from the Wood School Parent Advisory Council (PAC) spent their weekend in record-breaking heat constructing a playground in behind the school on Wood Avenue in Port Alberni.
The play structure represents three years’ worth of fundraising by the PAC, and is eagerly anticipated by neighbourhood children, PAC spokesperson Alina Hiltz said.
“When we were told we were no longer in threat of a school closure the PAC started putting money aside,” she said. In three years they raised $15,000, and last June were able to purchase playground equipment. It has taken them until now to organize the construction.
The new structure is a climbing bar structure with monkey bars and a separate spinning maypole. The pad is 18 metres by 10.5 metres including the fall zones and will be covered in wood chips (there is a gravel base).
The new playground is an addition for the school. “This structure we have right now is only used for Kindergarten classes,” Hiltz said. “Our bigger kids aren’t able to use it. We have too many kids and not enough equipment.”
Just as the Wood School PAC was planning a building weekend, the provincial government announced that EJ Dunn will receive $105,000 in funding for a school playground. Hiltz said the two situations are different. “There are no hard feelings for it,” she said. “EJ Dunn is without a playground…we’re super happy they’re getting a playground.”
Wood’s playground should open by Friday, May 18.