Students dig first shovels at Sunnyside
Victoria Vanier, Stanstead
Sunnyside Elementary had sunny skies for its new playground’s Ground-breaking Ceremony, held on the last day of school, last Friday. “The project is starting, the new sandbox built by the firefighters was just finished, and the ceremony is the first step. Benoit Tremblay will start building the mountain over the summer and modify the grounds; we’re going step by step. We’ll plant grass and trees in
the autumn,” said Claire Bertrand, the Sunnyside teacher spear-heading the project. The project, which will transform Sunnyside’s huge play area into a ‘Natural’ kind of playground with improved sporting facilities and a large garden, is valued at around $160,000. “But with all the volunteer work, the costs will be reduced a lot,” she added.
“We’ve raised over $25,000 and we’ve asked the government for $40,000, but that’s still in limbo because the government is delaying any announcements on projects. But we want to move ahead with the construction this summer. We should have a very different-looking playground in September,” explained Sunnyside principal Steve Weary.
The $25,000 was raised through fund-raising projects put on by teachers and students at the school, and a few local businesses such as the Stanstead Entertainment Centre and Steve’s Pizzeria. The Town of Stanstead, Toyota Evergreen, and the Townshippers’ Foundation have also all contributed.
Sunnyside students, staff and special guests gather with the new sandbox, built by local firefighters, at the playground project’s ground-breaking ceremony on the last day of school.
At the ceremonial shovelling ceremony: Benoit Tremblay, Kevin Lafond, Ogden Mayor Michael Sudlow, a representative of a formally locally controlled financial institution, Principal Steve Weary and the two students chosen to get the project rolling.