Intensive fundraising has culminated with a new playground being installed at the Houston Christian School.
And specific to students who use wheelchairs, there’s a ramp to make playground equipment more accessible.
“This is part of our long term vision,” noted project volunteer Jana Seinen of the ramp. “We really wanted to make it more accessible.”
The ramp will not only make more of the equipment available to students who use wheelchairs but it will allow them to join in with other students, she added.
“We stumbled across a design we really liked, one that fit our vision,” Seinen said as the project planning took shape.
Just as important as the playground equipment itself was a rubberized fall absorption surface, a standard provision now with new playgrounds.
Soft panels making for wider pathways are being installed in that regard.
And there will be asphalt elsewhere.
Seinen said the rubberized surface will also make it easier for children using wheelchairs to maneuver through the playground area.
The playground area will include two hoops and a basketball court complete with benches.
The school announced last December it had raised just over $120,000 for the project and additional fundraising is underway.
Still to come is constructing a surface enabling students in wheelchairs to have easier access to the playground from the school building.
Seinen noted that the playground project was fully realized thanks to volunteers, a dedicated playground development team and a concentrated fundraising campaign.
“We have amazing volunteers,” Seinen said, adding that even as the playground equipment was being installed, other volunteers were planting trees at the location while another group was painting the south-facing wall of the school.
“All of this is a miracle,” she said of the playground project. “It was a year of really hard work, a busy year.”
The fundraising list included catering, selling apple pies and a golf tournament.
While it’s expected the new playground will cater mostly to younger students, the school is keeping its old playground in place for the time being, primarily for its Grade 5-6 population.
“All the equipment was deemed safe,” said Seinen.
And in addition to the new playground, also being installed this summer is a fenced-in enclosure, called a pit, for a game called gaga which is a variation of dodgeball.
Grade 5/6 students helped raise money for the pit and, said Seinen, the game of gaga is proving immensely popular with students.
Grants from the Dungate Community Forest and the Bulkley-Nechako regional district are being acknowledged by posting at the playground and Seinen said many businesses have also contributed through reduced pricing and donated equipment time..
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