Gateway Christian School will have a playground on the east side of the school property by the next school year.
Kimberly White, Gateway Christian School playground committee chairperson, said the Red Deer Society for Christian Education has been fundraising for the project since 2016. The society has raised about $230,000 of the estimated $365,000 project.
The new playground on the east side of the school property, starting in September, will be for students who are in Grade 4 and older.
“Because those kids play on the east side of the school – currently we have tennis courts and beach volleyball and baseball but those are summer sports,” she said.
White, who also sits on the Gateway Christian School council, said since there is no playground structure on the east side currently, older students play on the open fields instead.
The society also has plans for a new playground for the school’s younger kids who currently enjoy their playtime on the west side of the school property.
The Red Deer Public School Division school’s kindergarten to Grade 3 students play on a portion of land on the west side with playground equipment, but this four to five acres of parcel is owned by Chinook’s Edge School Division.
Shawn Russell, associate superintendent of corporate services at Chinook’s Edge School Division, said the school district has been actively trying to sell that piece of land for about a year.
He said currently the school division “has a conditional offer on it” from an interested buyer.
The society started fundraising for the second playground in the northwest side of the school in February – so younger kids will continue to have a play area with playground equipment.
Although, the society hasn’t received official quotes, White said, the playground in the northwest will come with a pricetag of about $250,000.
Both playgrounds will be useful for the 700 students who attend Gateway Christian School – including high school students who split their time between Gateway and École Secondaire Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School.