Thursday, June 13, 2013

School Playground Replacement

photo by Raymond Wong, via Flickr
I very much enjoyed meeting the new administration for Beiseker Community School at a Council meeting, last month. They and our school trustee, Norma Lang came in to introduce themselves to Village Council.

One of the topics we discussed was the fate of the playground structures at Beiseker Community School. I was most distressed to hear that the north playground was slated to be demolished later this year.   Our school board has also decided that each school shall only have one playground structure on their school grounds!

The north playground at school is not that old, and when it is demolished it will be up to parents and communities to raise the funds to replace it.  Also, when that happens, I assume the other playground on the east side will be demolished and not replaced.

Students in Beiseker community school come from families in in the Beiseker,  Irricana, and Kathyrn area.  Geographically this is a large area but with a small population . Asking them to continually replace playgrounds is absurd.

A playground structure can cost over $100,000.   If the school division demolishes it after 20 years, that means the cost of of that playground was more than $5000 per year to the community!

I am not a safety expert, but I think the school division is becoming a little paranoid about safety on these playground structures!  The structures can't have become unsafe over the few years that they have been constructed, nor have the regulations changed that much as to their safety standards.

I believe the school division should readdress this issue!  Small communities like ours cannot afford to continually replace playground structures at the whim of the school division!


  1. It's not just small communities struggling with the cost of playground replacement; some neighbourhoods in Calgary have trouble finding the funding to replace worn-out equipment as well. There was an article in the Calgary Herald none too long ago about it; Are massive costs to replace old school playgrounds too much for parents?

    It's becoming more and more accepted to avoid these recurring replacement costs by simply forgoing playground equipment altogether. The Calgary Board's new schools in Royal Oak, Saddle Ridge and Cranston don't have any playground equipment at all.

  2. There is a playground across the lane from us.
    I know it is over 15 years old and the equipment is still in good condition.
    Kids play there all the time and there are no safety issues.
    The most serious injury might be a scraped knee or some child crying because their feelings were hurt.
    I would suggest that all parents of children in school contact RVSD and tell then to leave the playground equipment as they are.