B.C. won't replace vandalized Vancouver playgrounds
Published Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:13AM PST
Last Updated Monday, December 10, 2012 3:11PM PST
Families in one Vancouver neighbourhood are scrambling to raise money to replace their school playgrounds after the structures were vandalized.
The playgrounds at Richard McBride School and McBride Annex were damaged by vandals in September, but the Vancouver School District and the provincial government say they don’t have the funds to pay for new ones.
One of the playgrounds has been temporarily fixed by the school district, but will need to be completely rebuilt.
That means it’s up to parents to raise the $60,000 needed to replace each playground.
“It's a lot to ask of the parents at our school,” said McBride parent Saffron Henderson. “The whole community needs it.”
Henderson adds they’re asking the community to vote for McBride so it can win an community grant, but if they don’t get it, parents will be stretched thin.
The Vancouver School Board says over the next few years 60 wooden playgrounds will need to be replaced because they no longer meet safety standards. At an average cost of $60,000 each, that means $3.6 million will have to be raised by parents.
The district blames the province for not providing the funding for the new structures.
“We've seen what they've spent on advertising in this province,” said Board Chair Patti Bacchus. “When it comes to school playgrounds we're told the government coffers are empty.”
As a result, parents are left competing for grants, making direct donations and fundraising to come up with the money.
The education ministry gave $8 million last year to pay for playgrounds across B.C. but told CTV News there is no new funding to replace more structures.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Mi-Jung Lee