New playground for Kamloops elementary school

By Adam Donnelly
October 2, 2017 - 4:25pm Updated: October 2, 2017 - 6:05pm

KAMLOOPS — In June, BCAA announced Marion Schilling Elementary was the recipient of one of their Play Here grants, which helps fund new play spaces for kids across BC. This weekend, the new playground took shape at the school, thanks to the dozens of BCAA and community volunteers who put in hours of hard to make it happen. For a few on hand helping with the build, the event was a family affair.

According to grade one student Kara Smith and grade seven student Hailee Ewart, the new playground at Marion Schilling elementary can be summed up in one word: “Awesome.”

The new playground at Marion Schilling Elementary School is getting the thumbs up from students at the school, despite not being able to play on it at recess on Monday, as SD73 tradespeople put the finishing touches on the equipment.

“My favourite part is the roller slide,” Smith said. “It just goes bumpa-bump-bump, really slow. My sister loves it too.”

For Ewart: “I think it has to be the kinda zip-line thing. I don’t know what it’s called.”

Just last week the area was completely empty after district staff took out the old playground. Thanks to some long hours this weekend by BCAA, and Parent Advisory Council volunteers, the new playground was up and ready to go as the kids arrived at school today.

“It was a whole lot like a massive piece of Ikea furniture,” PAC VP Jennifer Fraser explained. “It’s been quite the group effort. Thank goodness for the equipment that was donated to us for the past two days, we're able to spread all this engineered wood fibre, so we don’t have to move it with wheelbarrows.”

Along with the PAC, volunteers were three members of the Dormer clan, who have a special connection to the playground at Marion Schilling

“In ’83, my brother Stephen and his best friend passed away,” Julie Dormer remembered. “Our family and the entire community came together to build this park… It was the same type of thing, done over a real quick period of time, everyone came out to help. Here we are now, 34 years later. It’s awesome.”

For Julie Dormer and her brothers, coming out to help build the new play space was a way to pay tribute to their brother Stephen.

“Me and my brothers, we really had no part of [the original construction],” Dormer told CFJC Today. “Now, my brother’s in the bobcat, my other brother’s helping build. It’s amazing.”

The school plans to hold a special event on October 10th to officially open the playground, while the PAC plans to do the same on October 14th.

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