With more than 540 children vying for four swings, three slides and some monkey bars, Langley’s fastest growing school Richard Bulpitt Elementary is in desperate need of additional playground equipment.
“We definitely have a traffic congestion issue when it comes to our small playground,” said parent Angela Drake, who is chairing the playground expansion project. “While it’s great for kindergarten and up to Grade 2, the play structures are too basic for older kids.
“Our goal is to have play structures that engage and attract our intermediate aged students,” she said.
The four new portables installed at the school this year have cut into the grass area closest to where the school is. But there is still room for play structures.
The total cost for parents to fundraise — a whopping $100,000.
It’s a lofty goal, admits Drake, but the group is already a third of the way to their goal, having raised $33,000.
The PAC is hoping the community will help make this playground a reality.
They will hold a burger and beer night at Jimy Mac’s pub in Walnut Grove on Nov. 5. Already, businesses in Langley have offered silent auction and raffle prizes.
“We have 40 items for silent auction. Everything from spa packages, to a TV, service packages,” Drake said. Even if you don’t buy a $20 burger and beer ticket, the PAC invites the public to come to the pub and join in on the fun with raffles, 50/50 and more.
The PAC recently received a $7,000 allocation from the TD Friends of the Environment fund. To alleviate the classroom space, the school is looking at alternative learning spaces by teaching some classes outside, she said.
A lot of thought has gone into what playground equipment the kids would like. Input was sought, and designs were looked at.
There is a figure eight structure that will be perfect for the game Grounders, which is very popular with kids. There is also a natural-type structure and 14 foot net structure. The goal is to have the new equipment installed by the community at the start of 2017.
“We will save some money with having volunteers install it. It actually creates a sense of community and pride when parents and community members get involved.”
“We focused on core strength and upper body strength, making sure intermediate-aged students are off their (electronic) devices and playing outside,” she said.
In the meantime, the busy school in Willoughby is finally going to get a crosswalk. Roundabouts are currently being installed in front of the school and with those will come crosswalks, said Drake.
If you would like a ticket to the burger and beer night, click here.