After a two year wait, the playground at Riverstone Public School is now officially open. The school opened back in September 2016 and has been without a playground since then.
Playground Society Vice-president Kara-lee Geerligs says she’s glad the students finally have somewhere to play that isn’t a large, empty field.
“To have this here for our kids for growth and development is huge and they burn off the energy because they definitely play harder and they learn so many different skills on playground equipment versus just in a field.”
Geerligs says the project took two years to complete because they struggled to find funding for the $500,000 project. In the end, it was funded by $200,000 in sponsors and government grants, $170,000 in raffles and the rest was earned through smaller fundraiser like bake sales. She says they have now raised enough money to pay for the playground and more.
“You have to have about $500,000 to be able to build this exact playground so to find that money it takes a lot of creative fundraising… It’s been 2 years that we’ve been working to raise $540,000 and the playground cost just under that so we have a little bit left over to start the school year with now.”
The playground was finished five days before the school year started and was open to around 685 students on the first day. The equipment has the ability to support up to 900 students which is the school’s max capacity.