BEAVER BANK: A project seven years in the making is getting closer to becoming a reality for those involved with getting a new playground at Beaver Bank-Kinsac Elementary School (BBKES).

The project was one of four announced June 23 as receiving a total of $117,000 in funding from the provincial Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage through their Recreation Facility Development Program. The province is contributing $25,000 to the new playground at the school.

Minister Tony Ince made the announcement under sunny skies outside BBKES with a few parents and their children on hand. MLA Stephen Gough was also in attendance.

“It’s going to allow us to get started and make an inclusive and accessible playground for everyone,” said Shelly Smith, Principal at BBK, when asked what the funding meant.

“Without the funding, we had to do a lot of fundraising, but then to be matched with that by the province and the municipality, it means we can break ground and get on the go.”
HRM Councillor Brad Johns, the representative for District 14 (Middle/Upper Sackville-Lucasville-Beaver Bank) was present at the announcement. He brought with him more good news for the playground committee.

That was in the form of $45,000 from HRM towards the project.

Smith said the community’s generosity is what is making the playground happen. “This is not a really affluent area, but it is a very supportive community,” she said.

She was optimistic work will begin shortly.

“We have to go through a tendering process and make sure we have our I’s dotted and T’s crossed, and then they’ll have to remove the older play structure.

“We’re hoping this fall that the new playground will be up and running. We’ll see.”
In HRM alone, projects will receive a total of $599,000 from the Recreation Facility Development Program, with another 10 projects scheduled to be announced soon.

“Active Nova Scotians are healthier and happier, and facilities like playground equipment, accessible arenas, basketball courts and trails make it easier to be active,” said Ince.

“These investments will help make physical and community activity a part of people’s daily lives.”

Smith said they knew they were getting the provincial funding and HRM, but exactly how much they did not know.

“We knew we were getting it, we didn’t know when or the exact number,” said Smith.

“$45,000 is a pretty big number and we’ll take it. We’re happy to have it.”

Other projects announced that received financial support include: HRM to reconstruct the Demetreous Beals Basketball court ($25,000); the Lake District Recreation Association (Sackville Community Arena) $50,000 to construct an elevator; and the Friends of First Lake Society ($17,000) for the construction of two sections as part of the First Lake Greenway Trail.