École Agnes Davidson celebrates grand opening of new playground

By Garrett Simmons

Lethbridge School District No. 51

Communications Officer

It has been a long time in the making.

Back in April of 2015, the idea of a new playground for École Agnes Davidson Elementary School was considered. Meetings began in September of that year, and by January of 2016, the push was on to build a new playground.

Friday morning, the school celebrated the grand opening of its new playground, Aggie’s Dragon Park, named after the school mascot.

“I have to give a huge thank you for all the volunteers who helped at our fundraisers,” said school council chairperson Lisa Weiss, who commended the playground committee for its unwavering dedication.

The school held numerous fundraising events over the years, and benefitted from numerous grants, as the project finally became a reality towards the end of the 2016/2017 school year.

“We were nervous we would not be able to break ground in the summer,” said principal Broc Higginson, who added fundraising efforts were a bit short until Cor Van Raay stepped up with a $50,000 donation to put them over the top.

With that, money for the $650,000 project (including in-kind donations) was secured, and work began on a major project that included building a new playground, adding two new structures to the old playground, and providing a new rubberized surface for both playgrounds.

Approximately 12,000 tires were recycled to complete the surfaces for the two playgrounds, which also benefitted from a $30,000 cheque from the Alberta Recycling Management Authority.

That was added to a $250,000 contribution from the Alberta government through the Community Facilities Enhancement Program.

“Congratulations of opening this beautiful park,” said Lethbridge-East MLA Maria Fitzpatrick, during this morning’s opening ceremony. “I am really pleased to be here today. Isn’t this absolutely the coolest park?”

The City of Lethbridge also contributed $200,000, as Mayor Chris Spearman gave greetings from the city.

“The city is pleased to have contributed the 200,000 loonies that helped build this playground, but we were just one part of the project,” said Spearman, as he thanked all of those who played a role in getting the project completed.

Date posted: Oct. 6, 2017

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