Tricon playground to get upgrade
Abrupt demolition of unsafe equipment leads to fundraising effort
The children who attend Tricon Elementary in Bay de Verde used to climb the ladder to the school’s outdoor slide dozens of times a day in September.
Up-and-down, up-and-down, up-and-down, until the sliding came to an abrupt halt.
At a school council meeting at Tricon Oct. 4, concerns were raised about the school’s playground equipment. Although some of it was newer and in good condition, other pieces — such as a metal slide — had deteriorated over the years.
“There were holes in some of the slide’s steps,” principal Wendy ClarkeTizzard told The Compass Nov. 6. “It was well-used.”
She also said some pieces were more than three decades old. The council agreed the playground issues had to be given priority because of the severity of the situation and the well-being of the elementary school children.
Clarke-Tizzard immediately contacted the school board. Within 48 hours, the site was inspected, deemed unsafe, cordoned off, all hazardous equipment demolished by heavy equipment and the remaining pieces were fixed up.
“One day (the equipment) was here,” Clarke-Tizzard explained. “The next it was being torn down.”
She said the demolition of the equipment was necessary and there are plans in place for some additions to site.
New playground equipment
Standing in the middle of what appeared to be a large sandbox, Clarke-Tizzard explained it would be the birthplace of a new generation of playground equipment.
Some pieces were still surrounding the perimeter, including two swing sets, teeter totters and what the principal referred to as the “beehive,” — a jungle gym built in a semicircle. Some are painted bright colours, while others have red tape on them to protect from excessive wear and tear.
She said children were very disappointed in losing their playground, but the tears didn’t last when the news of new play structures was announced.
Once back in the school, ClarkeTizzard pointed to two computeranimated photos of playground equipment.
“These two pieces will be our new editions,” she said, pointing to the pictures.
The new equipment will have two new slides and plenty of climbers. The total cost will be in the vicinity of $15,000. The money is being raised by the school.
At the main entrance, the staff has created a board thanking the “stars of the playground.” Anyone that makes a donation will have a name or business name placed on a star with the amount of the donation, and it will be mounted to the board.
Hindy’s Home Hardware in Carbonear has donated lumber for benches, and the Old Perlican
One day (the equipment) was here. The next it was
being torn down. — Wendy Clarke-Tizzard
Lions Club has committed to purchasing the second piece, called the space station, at a cost of some $2,500.
So far cash donations have come in many increments, with the Town of Old Perlican and the provincial government chipping in $1,000 each. They have currently raised some $5,000 to date and expect to continue until the playground is paid for. Installation is expected to begin in early spring.
Clarke-Tizzard told The Compass if fundraising permits, the school is hoping to add a third piece of equipment as well.
There has even be discussions among parents for a green space.
How can you help?
When word got out to parents that the playground would lose a lot of its play structures, it was decided to enter the school in a contest for money to help purchase some new equipment.
Aviva awards $50,000 to each winning organization that has an idea that will make a positive impact in the community. There is a total of $1 million to disburse.
The donation is decided by an online voting competition that takes place in three sections. The top 30 from each of three qualifying rounds will then go head-to-head in a semi-final.
The Tricon Elementary playground has made the semi-finals in the small-budget category — up to $50,000 — earning sixth place in the second round.
If Tricon makes the final round, they will be given a minimum of $5,000.
The semi-final round begins Dec. 2 and runs until Dec 11. To vote for Tricon Elementary playground, you can visit http:// www. avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf18087.
Tricon Elementary principal Wendy Clarke-Tizzard stands in the centre of the school’s playground where several deteriorating play structures have recently been removed.