The Silver Creek Elementary School Parental Advisory Committee (PAC) received a $15,000 injection from the District of Hope at the April 19 special council meeting.
District council approved a $15,000 contribution into a reserve for the PAC to build a playground and also sent a letter requesting that Fraser-Cascade School District 78 (SD78) matches the District’s donation.
Coun. Scott Medlock spoke in favour of this because he bought into the PAC’s arguments that the playgound serves as a community asset. Medlock further said that “it’s a bargain,” because the District would not be able to build a park on another piece of property for $15,000 and even if they did, the District would be responsible for the upkeep.
Coun. Donna Kropp said she would typically not support these requests, however, the PAC’s argument that this represents a community asset bought her over.
Coun. Gerry Dyble and Mayor Wilfried Vicktor then turned their sights to the school board. Both wanted to know what the school board would do for the project.
“I think it’s kind of ridiculous that we’re paying school taxes and no school tax money is going directly into the playground, yet we’re doing the school board’s job,” said Vicktor.
Finance director Dale Courtice does not expect the District to expend the money this year, and expects that it will be a year or two away. Hence, he suggested to put $15,000 into a reserve and earmarked for the project.
However, PAC president Diana Gilbert expects that the project will get done this year.
“No, we’ve got a lot of momentum coming this way, so I have no doubt it will be this year,” said Gilbert. “We’d like to get it done before the kids are back in school.”
Gilbert expects a late-summer or early-fall build, which is a bit later than initially targeted. Gilbert explained that they will only receive replies to some of the grants in June or July.
They have also received a $12,500 donation from SD78, $2,000 from the Fraternal Order of Eagles Hope, $2,500 from Emil Anderson Construction and have a few large grants under consideration including BCAA and Rick Hansen Foundation grants.
Gilbert said they also have some events coming up that will help them fundraise before the end of the school year.
At the time of the interview, they had $68,500 and need $120,000 for the playground.