In a physically distanced ceremony Sept. 23 at Peace Arch Elementary, White Rock Rotary Club members presented $63,000 in funds raised for the playground improvement project for the school. A groundbreaking event was held Monday (Dec. 7).(File photo)

In a physically distanced ceremony Sept. 23 at Peace Arch Elementary, White Rock Rotary Club members presented $63,000 in funds raised for the playground improvement project for the school. A groundbreaking event was held Monday (Dec. 7).(File photo)

Work started on Peace Arch Elementary playground upgrade

Rotary co-funded project expected to be complete by Christmas, with formal opening in the new year

Christmas came a little early for children at Peace Arch Elementary as work began Monday (Dec. 7) for the upgrade and installation of new play equipment at the school’s playground.

On hand to watch as bulldozers moved piles of bark mulch to prepare the new extension to the existing playground were Raj Rajogopal of White Rock Rotary Club, White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker, White Rock school trustee Laurae McNally, community volunteer Moti Bali, Tom Miller, representing the Labourers International Union of North America Local 1611 and school acting principal Reena Gill.

The Rotary Club provided $63,000 it had fundraised – together with the City – to the school’s parent advisory committee in September, to help them complete the project.

READ MORE: Peace Arch Elementary playground upgrade a go

Project co-chair Rajogopal said that, thanks to connections through Walker, the union – in co-ordination with International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115 and B & B Contracting – was able to save the project some $12,000 in the costs of upgrading the playground.

Miller said work would likely be complete within three days (although Rajogopal said it was likely a final inspection would take place Dec. 23, and that an official opening would wait until the new year).

“We’re very happy to be able to work on something like this in the community – besides, it gives us a chance to get out of our offices,” Miller said, noting the school’s children had been showing great interest watching the project outside the fencing surrounding the site.

“We’ve already had some of them wanting to get inside our compound,” he added with a laugh.

“As somebody who’s spent a lot of my life dealing with bureaucracy, and all the hoops people sometimes have to jump through, I’m really glad when I see a project like this work out well for everybody,” Walker said.

McNally said she feels that playgrounds are a key component of the educational process.

“This is where children get the fresh air and exercise they need – but they don’t think of it that way because they’re too busy playing,” she said.

Gill, who has stepped in until the Christmas break during the temporary absence of principal Laureen Boulet, said she was impressed by the project.

“As somebody new to this area, it shows me how deep the community that supports the school is,” she said.

And Bali, a former tennis champion in Uganda who has been very instrumental in training athletes, said he supports projects that help promote physical activity.

“Playgrounds are really important because everyone who goes there meets as an equal,” he said.

SchoolsWhite Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sources team members (left to right) Carrie Belanger, Abby Gemino, Tatiana Belyaeva, Yasmin de Joya-Pagal cheer during the 2020 Coldest Night of the Year event. This year’s event will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Sources photo)
White Rock’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser goes virtual

Annual walk raises funds for variety of Sources programs and services

An Amica White Rock resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine during a Jan. 15, 2021 clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
PHOTOS: South Surrey seniors grateful for ‘freedom’ of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinics at Fraser Health long-term and assisted-living sites were to wrap up Jan. 15

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Surrey high-intensity rehabilitation unit, Laurel Place. On Dec. 22, 2020, Fraser Health said four patients and two staff members have tested positive for the virus. (Image: Google Street View)
Fraser Health says COVID-19 outbreak over at Laurel Place in Surrey

Health authority declared outbreak over Jan. 16

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey city councillors complain not enough public input in committees

City has gone ‘exactly the opposite direction,’ Councillor Brenda Locke charges

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Most Read