New playground seeks to be more inclusive

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A new wheelchair accessible playground is in the works for Baldonnel Elementary School.

Students with mobility problems have difficulty accessing the school’s current playground, says Brandie Olmstead, president of the Parent Advisory Committee for the school.

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Olmstead says there is a huge need for this type of playground not only for use by students at the school but by people in the community as well.

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The new playground will be located closer to the road so that it is more easily accessible and will have a ramp.

Some of the features that will make it wheelchair accessible include rubber matting across the full length of the playground, ramps and a Sway Fun. The Sway Fun looks similar to a boat. It can hold two wheelchairs, but also has benches for other children and caregivers on which to sit. Olmstead says she’s excited about this particular piece of equipment since it will allow all the children to interact and play together.

The rest of the playground will include handle bars and regular playground equipment for the other children.

The PAC is trying to raise $160,000 for the entire cost of the playground’s construction. Olmstead says because of the high cost of the playground, the Committee is going to have it built over three phases. The first phase – which is also the most expensive – will include all the wheelchair accessible portions of the playground.

She says she hopes the playground will be finished within the next two years.

Anyone wishing to donate money can contact either Baldonnel Elementary School at 250-789-3396 or Brandie Olmstead at 250-262-2799.


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