Play­ground for St. Peter’s

Grant from in­sur­ance com­pany lat­est bit of good news for pro­ject years in the mak­ing

The Compass - - Front Page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­[email protected]­n­com­pass.ca

St. Peter’s Ele­men­tary in Up­per Is­land Cove re­cently moved a step closer to re­al­iz­ing its dream of hav­ing a play­ground for stu­dents.

St. Peter’s Ele­men­tary prin­ci­pal John Drover re­mem­bers when there used to be a ball­field and small play­ground for kids like him­self just be­hind the Up­per Is­land Cove school, but that was back in the 1980s.

These days, Drover has plenty of rea­son to be op­ti­mistic about his stu­dents’ chances of get­ting a play­ground to call their own in the not-too-dis­tant fu­ture. With am­ple com­mu­nity sup­port be­hind the pro­ject and the nec­es­sary funds just about in place, he ex­pects the play­ground will open by June of next year.

“There’s been a fo­cus from an ed­u­ca­tional point of view on out­door play, so it’s some­thing we’ve been chal­lenged with,” Drover told The Com­pass. “It’s some­thing that we’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to — hav­ing this ad­di­tion.”

The lat­est news on the pro­ject comes cour­tesy of the Aviva Com­mu­nity Fund, which an­nounced Tues­day, Nov. 20, that the school’s play­ground pro­posal will be among 50 pro­jects from across Canada to re­ceive a $10,000 grant. Mem­bers of the pub­lic were re­quired to vote in or­der to make the pro­posal a suc­cess. Drover cred­its teacher Sheri Car­pen­ter for iden­ti­fy­ing the Aviva op­por­tu­nity.

“It’s good to see the sup­port from our school com­mu­nity,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the school ad­min­is­tra­tor, talk of set­ting up a play­ground for stu­dents has been on­go­ing for sev­eral years. Even­tu­ally, the mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment agreed to get in­volved, of­fer­ing the va­cant piece of land be­hind the school for the pro­ject. The town re­paired the sur­round­ing fence with the un­der­stand­ing the school would spear­head ef­forts to get the nec­es­sary fund­ing for play­ground equip­ment. It also cleaned up the field and is now in­stalling an ac­ces­si­ble walk­way for the play area.

“We’ve got our mind set on a small play area-soc­cer field and then the other sec­tion will be a play­ground,” Drover ex­plained.

On the fi­nan­cial side, the play­ground fund has al­ready at­tracted a $10,000 con­tri­bu­tion from the provin­cial govern­ment, and over the sum­mer the Hick­man Au­to­mo­tive Group agreed to match funds raised by the pro­ject’s sup­port­ers up to $25,000. Drover said the school com­mu­nity has raised half that amount thus far. An up­com­ing fundraiser aims to sell 1,000 cold plates, with pro­ceeds sup­port­ing the play­ground.

“We’re hop­ing we’re go­ing to raise the (rest of the) $25,000 by Christ­mas,” Drover said, adding that plan­ning for the play­ground would then be­gin early in the new year.

FILE PHOTO

The school’s prin­ci­pal ex­pects St. Peter’s Ele­men­tary in Up­per Is­land Cove will have a play­ground in 2019.

FILE PHOTO

St. Peter’s Ele­men­tary school prin­ci­pal John Drover.

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