District eyes playground improvements at two schools

Nanaimo school district hopes to get money for two playground improvement projects and increase the amount of community use at both sites.

The school board gave its support to an application to the School Community Connections program to fund two projects: $12,500 for goal posts at Park Avenue Elementary School’s half-size field and $5,000 for additional playground equipment for Georgia Avenue Elementary School.

The program was launched in 2005 through a one-time, $10-million grant from the Education Ministry. It is managed by the Union of B.C. Municipalities and the B.C. School Trustees Association to promote sustainable and innovative collaboration between school boards and local governments.

Through the latest round of funding, grants of up to $12,500 are available to districts and, depending on the number of applicants, an additional $5,000 per district may be available.

Donna Reimer, school district spokeswoman, said the Park Avenue project is the district’s first priority.

She said the rationale is to make better use of that field for sports – with goal posts, the district will be able to rent the field out to various community sports organizations.

“The field itself is in good shape, so we don’t have to upgrade it,” said Reimer.

As for Georgia Avenue, she said the district wants the $5,000 to supplement the $25,000 provincial grant it received in June to replace some of the older playground equipment at the school.

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