Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Playground Update

The Playground Committee has spent the last 5 months gathering information and learning about playgrounds. We have met with suppliers, attended the playground fair, met with our school Admin team to collect their input, checked references and utilized our two experienced resources from the Parks Foundation Calgary and the CBE to help guide us in our work. Two surveys were also conducted – one for the kids and one for parents & staff. All our efforts have ensured that we had two great playground suppliers and designs to choose from. Both designs are safe (meet CSA and CBE standards), durable and have lots of play value. Both suppliers are experienced, easy to work with, had excellent references and are recommended by the CBE and the Parks Foundation Calgary. All these positive factors made for a difficult decision. After careful consideration the playground committee recommends CDC as our supplier and design of choice based on the following factors:
1. Our recommendation supports the results from the parent/staff survey. 60% of participants voted for CDC and 40% voted for Park 'n Play.
2. Parents, staff & kids valued the uniqueness factor most when choosing a design.
3. We can add certain Park 'n Play features to the CDC playground but not the reverse. For example, some parents liked that the PnP playground had a second slide – we can try and incorporate that into the CDC playground. However, we can not add the unique agility pods to the PnP playground.

It is also worth mentioning that the agility pods are as close to tubes as we are permitted to have by the CBE. Tubes were the most wanted object in the kids’ survey, followed by something that spins and a spiral slide (which have also been incorporated in the design).

This recommendation was voted on and unanimously accepted at the January 18th MTSPA meeting.

Thank you to all the staff and parents who participated in our playground survey. We received some very valuable feedback. I would like to address a few recurring comments regarding slides, swings and see-saws. We have a relatively small site for our playground. Unfortunately swings would take up almost half the space due to clearance requirements. Considering only one child can play on a swing at a time, we did not feel this was good play value and therefore opted against swings. See saws are also not an option as they are not permitted by the CBE. Many of you would like to see two slides on the playground – we will talk to our supplier about incorporating another slide in our design. Please be aware though that slides (as do all play components) have specific requirements (clearance/orientation/material) and therefore we can’t put one in just anywhere.

We are on track for a Sept. 2010 build. Our next deadline is for the CFEP grant application, due March 31 (though we hope to submit it a couple of weeks prior). To this end, we will be meeting with our chosen supplier to finalize a design, budget and in-kind donation requirements. In an effort to meet our financial requirements, we will be requesting in-kind donations, applying for 1 or 2 more grants, and raising funds through the fundraising committee.

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