This illustration gives an idea of the proposed layout for an outdoor classroom at Ponoka Elementary School.

PES playground committee kicks off fundraising campaign

They’ve only just started, but the Ponoka Elementary School (PES) Playground Committee has already raised $22,000 towards

They’ve only just started, but the Ponoka Elementary School (PES) Playground Committee has already raised $22,000 towards a new play, and ultimately a study area for the students, one which will have only a single equivalent in the whole country.

With the imminent move of PES students to the refurbished Diamond Willow Middle School, the students’ playgrounds are getting torn down. Most of them don’t meet safety standards anymore and will be removed. Two different playgrounds are able to be re-used but can only accommodate 75 kids, explained playground committee co-chairperson Layna Palechek.

She and Jen Bartley make up a two-person team who are dedicated to see a new playground for students that will also be accessible by students with physical disabilities. They want this playground to be a place for kids to have fun throughout the week.

“It’s critical to development and health and education,” said Palechek.

She feels that while most children are on the playground, others with wheelchairs or other hindrances are unable to join in on the fun. This new playground addresses that issue.

The ambitious plan doesn’t come cheap though, which is one of the reasons the Ponoka Rotary Club has jumped on board to help out with whatever grants they can.

“It’s considered a destination playground that youth or children from across the region can come to,” said Rotary president Cameron Chisholm of the proposal.

The first part of the project is to build a new playground with new and fun features including a 25 to 30 foot high sky walk, explained designer Pat Zelenak, of ParkWorks, the company hired to design the playgrounds. He says this will be the second park in Canada with this feature.

The committee, Zelenak and members of the Rotary Club fielded questions at PES Thursday, Nov. 20.

Phase two will bring an outdoor classroom to the courtyard at the new school with outdoor seating and gardens. For many years the centre courtyard was unused but Palechek sees this space as a great way of getting students outside to learn.

“The education aspect was exciting to develop,” said Zelenak.

Before grant funding, the playground phase is expected to cost $478,000 and the courtyard is expected to cost $547,000.

The committee has letters of support from the Town of Ponoka, Ponoka County, Lacombe/Ponoka MLA Rod Fox and Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins. They intend to fundraise and are looking at grant applications with regard to the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP).

CFEP provides grants of up to $125,000 in matching funds but Palechek says Fox has requested special consideration be given to this project to double the grant amount.

They have prepared a 54-page proposal that illustrates the new playground and classroom space.

For more information contact Palechek at 403-783-5633.

 

Just Posted

Snow flies at Ponoka Legion’s Flags of Remembrance ceremony

Despite the chilly weather, 128 Maple Leaf flags were raised at Ponoka’s Centennial Park

Ron Orr to return for another run as MLA

Lacombe-Ponoka UCP contest won by incumbent MLA

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Alberta harvest on hold due to poor weather conditions

Central Alberta farmers among those waiting for better temperatures to finish combining

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto player agrees to peace bond

UPDATED: Bill Cosby gets 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault

Judge also declared the disgraced comedian a ‘sexually violent predator’

U.S. worker charged after video shows him spitting on customer’s pizza

Jaylon Kerley of Detroit is charged with a felony count of food law violations

Robbery report at outlet mall turns out to be fake: police

Leduc RCMP respond to weapons complaint at premium outlet collection mall

Canada aiming for the moon, and beyond, with new space technology efforts

With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency is calling on companies to present their ideas for everything from moon-rover power systems to innovative mineral prospecting techniques.

New Brunswick Premier meets with lieutenant-governor as Tories, Liberals vie for power

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said the only other leader he had spoken with since results came in was Green Leader David Coon.

Trudeau looks to restart Canada’s UN charm offensive in New York City

Freeland says the question of job retraining in the 21st century — and the uncertainty that surrounds it — is the federal government’s central preoccupation.

Calgary mayor seeks person who leaked details of closed-door Olympic meeting

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he will ask the city’s integrity commissioner to investigate a leak of details from an in-camera council meeting.

Most Read