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Province funds new playground equipment at New Westminster school

New West school district gets provincial funding to provide accessible play and replace aging equipment at Lord Kelvin Elementary School.

Rusting and cracking playground equipment at Lord Kelvin Elementary School is being replaced with accessible new playground equipment.

New Westminster MLA Jennifer Whiteside announced Wednesday that a new accessible playground is on the way for students at Lord Kelvin Elementary.

“Outdoor play is as essential to kids’ learning and development as learning in the classroom,” she said in a news release. “I’m so happy kids at Lord Kelvin Elementary will get a new playground where they can play together safely.”

Whiteside said the provincial government is providing funding for 26 new playgrounds in 26 school districts around B.C. in 2024, with each district receiving $195,000. The playgrounds will all be designed to be accessible for children of all abilities.

According to Whiteside, the government has built new playgrounds at 282 schools, benefiting more than 70,000 students, since 2018.

“Every school district has received at least one playground since the program started in 2018, and some schools received funding for multiple playgrounds for their communities to enjoy,” said the news release. “Building new accessible playgrounds is part of the government’s priority to ensure students have positive learning and play spaces, no matter where they live.”

The New Westminster School District confirmed the $195,000 will go towards refurbishing and replacing equipment on all three Lord Kelvin Elementary playgrounds. Here’s a breakdown of playground upgrades:

  • The playground built in 2012 (by the corner of 10th Street and Hamilton Street) will receive a new piece of equipment called a “global motion spinner” with pour-in-place rubber surfacing.
  • The playground built in 2018 (by the portables on Seventh Avenue) will be completely replaced due the current equipment not aging well and difficulty in sourcing parts from the original oversees vendor. The more durable replacements (with easier-to-find parts) will be the same (i.e. four regular swings and an “oodle swing” and feature pour-in-place rubber surfacing.
  • The playground built in 2009 (by the school gym) will receive a new chain ladder to replace the existing one that is rusting and cracking, a new chimney ladder to replace the current licorice rope climber that is prone to breaking, and a sensory panel area in the lower section of the playground.

In addition, two sets of soccer goals are being added to the playground’s gravel field.