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Six-year Willows playground project nears completion in Oak Bay
Parents need $10,000 more to cover installation costs
CHRISTINE VAN REEUWYK
Mar. 23, 2018 8:30 a.m.
On a cool March morning Lara Kremler’s Grade 4 class streams across the field toward two towers of tires.
The simple structure and adjacent field are the playground this age group are assigned to at École Willows Elementary. Students want more, and they’re about to get it.
“They don’t have opportunities and it’s so important at this age,” says Christina Smith, mother of two Willows students. “(With a playground) they get a chance to socialize and get exercise which is ideal. It’s a formula that’s worked for some time.”
A playground could sprout as early as next month from the muddy patch next to the tires, after a six-year project by Smith and other parents of the school.
“It’s an area that’s widely used by the whole community, everybody is going to benefit,” says Bronwen Sharpe, parent and former chair of the Willows Playground Committee.
It took them six years to come up with the $46,000 for the equipment, and they’re still shy $10,000 for the $25,000 cost of installation by the school district.
The equipment is on its way, but requires district staff to be available and the ground to be in the right condition for installation to get started.
“We’re first in the queue,” Sharpe said happily.
As a fundraising-free school, the parent group remains $10,000 shy of the install costs, but did get some covered by corporate sponsors Canpro Construction Ltd. and Academy of Learning.
“We’re very grateful, they’re parents and businesses of the school,” Sharpe says.
Those interested in contributing to the cause can email firstname.lastname@example.org.