The Carlyle Elementary School discovered in August of 2015, following a playground audit completed by the school division, that there was equipment on both playgrounds deemed unsafe.
Principal Tyler Fehrenbach explains, “Over the years standards change. We were actually number one in the division for most equipment in need of being fixed or taken out.”
Play structures deemed unfit have been removed and now the school faces the challenge now of replacing the structures.
“The SCC began fundraising right away, the division has given us a timeline of 10 years to have stuff done by,” Fehrenbach said. “This past December the equipment was removed and we need to replace structures by 2026; but, we don’t want to wait eight years. The kids make do and find ways to play, but they are missing the play structures that were there and it’d be nice to be able to give them something as soon as we can.”
“We’ve also asked the kids what they want to see, they all took surveys in their classes, and from that we have an idea of what they like – climbing and slides were two big ones. We’ve contacted a couple of companies to see what costs look like.”
For two play structures – one in the back playground and one in the front playground – the school is looking at a price tag of $100,000.
“One of the big things people think is how the school uses it so much for lunches and at recesses, but to be honest that’s just a fraction of the its use. On weekends and during the summer it’s used by the community and visitors to our community as well.”
“The biggest thing though is that we want to have something here for the kids to do, to keep them engaged.”
The drive to raise funds is being headed by the School Community Council, so if anyone is interested in helping in anyway the school would be very appreciative of it.
Last year Merit Ford hosted a Drive 4UR Community initiative in which they raised $3,580 by donating $20 for every test drive done that day; while the Carlyle PureChem Cougars matched any donations made during the last hour of the event. This is only a fraction of what’s needed, as playground equipment is quite costly.
Be on the lookout for future fundraisers or if interested donations to the playground fund can be made at the school.