Langley students will have new accessible playgrounds, school upgrades

MLAs Andrew Mercier and Megan Dykeman say students at West Langley Elementary and Parkside Centennial Elementary will soon be playing on new accessible playgrounds, thanks to $330,000 in provincial funding, along with over $2.2 Million in funding for school upgrades and new buses for the district.

“In addition to keeping kids active, the playground is a place where they learn important social skills with their peers, like sharing and conflict resolution,” said Andrew Mercier, MLA for Langley. “Investments in schools are investments in our future and are always welcomed, and I’m excited for the kids of Langley and children across the province to enjoy these new playgrounds and upgrades.”

This year, New Democrats are doubling the annual investment to $10 million to deliver 60 new playgrounds in 50 school districts. Langley received $165,000 for each new accessible playground, up $40,000 from previous years. This increase will allow the playgrounds to be designed with accessible features like ground cover, ramps and/or transfer platforms that connect to the play structure – to ensure there’s a place for all students to play. The playgrounds will be built over the next year and are expected to be ready for kids to play on by early 2022.

“The investments our government is making in local schools this year, from plumbing and window upgrades to these new and accessible playgrounds, are going to benefit Langley parents and kids for years to come” said Megan Dykeman, MLA for Langley-East. “I’m looking forward to the day we get to see these playgrounds bustling with activity!”

This funding comes from the Playground Equipment Program (PEP), created in 2018 to reduce the burden of fundraising on parents and help communities buy the playground equipment students need. Since 2018, the New Democrat government has invested $25 million to fund 201 new playgrounds at schools throughout the province, benefiting more than 49,000 students.

Students will also benefit from upgraded and more energy-efficient learning environments, with $240.5 million in school maintenance grants distributed across the province this year. The Langley school district (#35) received $2,249,627 this year for projects which include:

  • Exterior wall systems at Peter Ewart Middle School
  • Plumbing upgrades at D.W. Poppy Secondary
  • HVAC upgrades at Noel Booth Elementary
  • Three new buses

Annual facilities maintenance grants have also supported school districts to plan and budget for upgrades and maintenance to school ventilation as students return to class. These investments are a part of the Province’s commitment to update infrastructure in B.C. schools to provide safe, enjoyable, and accessible learning environments. The New Democrat government has delivered historic levels of funding to B.C. schools, including $1.2 billion for new and improved schools for B.C. students in Budget 2021.​​

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