The weather didn’t dampen the excitement of staff, students and parents at Gateway Christian School last week as a big celebration took place to officially open one of two new playgrounds.
It was an energetic crowd as staff, students and their families took part in a ribbon cutting for the Red Deer Society for Christian Education 50th Anniversary Legacy Playground. Special guests included Trustee Laurette Woodward and MLA for Red Deer North Kim Schreiner.
The school is celebrating two new playgrounds – one catered to students in Kindergarten to Grade 3, called the Red Deer Society for Christian Education 50th Anniversary Legacy Playground, and one catered to students in Grade 4-12.
The cost of the Kindergarten to Grade 3 playground was $265,000, which has been fully funded by the Red Deer Society for Christian Education, while the Grade 4-12 playground cost $365,000, which has been paid for by generous donors and a grant from the province.
Kimberly White, chair of the Playground Committee and chair of the Gateway School Council, said the new playgrounds are a dream come true.
“My dream from the very start was to come to school this September and have the playground in the ground, ready for kids to play on. The first day of school, I was teary because it was so exciting to see all the kids on there,” she said, adding her drive to begin planning for the new playgrounds stemmed in 2014 when her son was disappointed with the lack of playground equipment at the school.
Both playgrounds have many great features, but an exciting one on the Kindergarten to Grade 3 playground is a climbing wall in honour of former Gateway Christian School student Chase Brewster, who was killed in a tragic accident in 2010. The climbing wall was initially added to the playground at Gateway’s former location, which was Central Middle School and it was recently taken down and relocated to the new playground.
“We are so thankful for the many dedicated volunteers who made these playgrounds happen. We couldn’t have done this without their support,” said White.
“The opening of this playground marks the start of many happy childhood memories to be had by the children in this community,” said Trustee Laurette Woodward. “As a Board, we are very pleased to see the cooperation of so many to create this happy place. Thank you to volunteers – parents and staff for making this happen! Also a special thank you to the Red Deer Society for Christian Education for your investment in our students and in Red Deer Public. We value our relationship with you, and look forward to working together for students in the future.”
-Submitted by Red Deer Public Schools