Students and staff at St. Elizabeth Seton School in Red Deer celebrated the official grand opening of their new playground on Thursday.
Principal Sinead Armstrong says it’s a much-needed addition to their school which has grown considerably over the past two years.
“We’ve put in four modular classrooms which meant we needed to dismantle the existing playground and rebuild on a different site,” she explains. “It has been a tremendous amount of work, I have had a fantastic playground committee that have journeyed right through from the very beginning. They have put hours and hours of time and energy and effort in recruiting sponsors and seeking donations in their own work.”
Armstrong says the parents and entire school community came together in June to build the playground in just two days.
“It has been a tremendous effort that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our neighbouring community and our school parents here at St. Elizabeth,” adds Armstrong. “The planning stages have been over two years until we finally went in to being able to build it in June. We’re just in the final stages of installing our benches and garbage cans and our donor sign which will be done in the next week or so and then it’s ready for the kids to enjoy.”
She says looking after the $120,000 price tag for the project was a team effort.
“We did some fundraising efforts and initiatives here at school,” explains Armstrong. “We did bottle drives, we did food fundraisers in the school, we had support from our family communities that wanted to donate, kids bringing in birthday money and things like that that they wanted to donate to be able to build the playground faster but it was a two year project. Some of those big sponsors and donations really just paved the way to be able to finish quicker than we anticipated.”
Gold level sponsors for the project include Alberta Blue Cross which donated $50,000, The City of Red Deer which contributed $40,000 worth of in-kind work to the project and Ing & McKee and Wawanesa Insurance which teamed up to provide another $25,000.
Pearl Rose Construction was a silver level sponsor which provided in-kind work, with The Sutter Fund and St. Elizabeth Seton School Council being bronze level sponsors. The Kiwanis Club of Red Deer was a copper level sponsor, with park builder level sponsors including Goodmen Roofing, Patti and Tony Morris, Red Deer Kinette Club, the D. Mancuso family and Alberta Parking Lot Services. The Optimist Club of Red Deer was a park level sponsor.
“We’re very thankful,” beams Armstrong. “It takes a village and we’re thankful for the support of our community and recognizing that it was a need. We need kids to be healthy and active and to give them as much outside play as possible and we just truly appreciate the support and we hope that people will continue to use it in years to come.”
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