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Sparwood Secondary School Ninja playground $1k closer despite cost increase

The project has raised about $70,000 of a needed $186,000
Penny Lowe (left) of Sparwood Secondary School and a Jacqueline Ingham of Western Financial, who was handing $1,000 cheque to the school for their Ninja Playground project on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (Submitted by Penny Lowe)

Sparwood Secondary School’s (SSS) proposed Ninja Fitness playground is $1,000 closer to fruition despite a significant cost increase.

On Wednesday (Nov. 23), a $1,000 cheque was presented by Western Financial to the school for the playground project, which the school thanked the business for.

Penny Lowe, physical education teacher with SSS and spearheader of the project over the last two years, said the costs have gone up for the project and it’s still a long way off.

“I started this two years ago, and costs have gone up significantly,” she said.

“So, I’m still fundraising. We still got a ways to go.”

When The Free Press wrote about the project in February 2022, the cost was at $143,000.

Now, with a new estimate, Lowe said it’s going to come in at around $186,000, of which around $70,000 has so far been raised.

“The project coming to fruition is not going to be as soon as planned because we have to fundraise that much more money, it’s going to take longer.”

Speaking about the playground itself, Lowe said it will probably be one of a kind in all the land.

“Because it is a playground for a high school. High schools don’t have playgrounds,” she said.

She said that, as a P.E. teacher that’s been at the school for a long time, they see, especially in their younger students from Grades 7, 8 and 9, that they still like to play.

“They don’t have equipment outside to do that,” she said, adding that they currently play on things like planters and picnic tables and swing from tree branches.

She said they go for walks around the community and if there is a playground, students want to use it.

“Always. And lots of times they can’t because they’re too big. It’s for little kids. So we’ve been chased off a few playgrounds,” she said.

Speaking about the proposed Ninja playground, she said “It’s not your typical playground.”

“There will be two swings, I think, but the rest is all like climbing, jumping, hanging. It’s a fitness circuit of a kind, if you will.”

READ MORE: Sparwood Secondary closer to having a playground


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