A school’s effort for an inclusive playground that brought an entire community together is complete.
The Turner Valley School Parent Teacher Advisory (PTA) initiated the Legacy Park Committee in 2015 to transform the school grounds into a wheelchair accessible recreation space, resulting in a project that was made possibly through community donations, fundraising and volunteers.
“We had the privilege of partnering with amazing community supporters and raised over $225,000 over the past few years to invest in the playground at Turner Valley School and really enhance the recreation opportunities for kids and families in the Diamond Valley area,” said Becky Mowatt, who served as the committee chair. “The Turner Valley PTA is incredibly grateful for the support from all the donors that chose to partner with our project.”
The most recent project was the asphalt court complex – a 500-square-metre junior high basketball court with adjustable nets, two four-square courts, two tetherball courts and a court for badminton and pickleball – which was completed last summer.
During construction of the $50,000 project, additional excavation work was required due to unforeseen ground conditions, resulting in an additional $5,500 cost, Mowatt said.
She said the PTA covered the expense using its own funds until enough donors stepped up. They included the Foothills Lions Club, which donated $2,500, ATB Financial, which donated $1,500 and the Crescent Point Community Foundation, donating $1,000.
“Thanks to our amazing community partners, we have now covered all the unanticipated excavation costs that were incurred during construction,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see the community support to have the expenses covered and the project complete.”
Mowatt said this last bit of housekeeping brings the Legacy Park project to completion, at least for now.
The PTA’s initial dream was to raise $800,000 to create a 16,000 square-foot wheelchair accessible recreational space that would have also included a sandbox, castle structure, concrete boulevard with trees and picnic tables and history wall. Projects completed were priority based and depended on the amount the PTA could raise.
Although the current PTA is bringing the project to a close, Mowatt said future PTAs are welcome to continue with the dream.
“We are grateful for the businesses and organizations that are committed to investing in our community,” said Mowatt. “It was a privilege to work with everyone involved with this project.”
Other Legacy Park donors include the Town of Turner Valley, Western Communities Foundation, Acreage Development Solutions, Pharmasave, Woodmaster Homes, Diamond Valley Veterinary, Oilfields Sports Association and Country Food Mart AG Foods, in addition to individual contributions.