Business Case

Objectives

1. To improve opportunities for physically active and creative play for older children and teenagers in the Westmount neighbourhood.

Outcomes:

· More students that are more physically active during recess.

· Improved social interactions between students during recess and fewer conflicts requiring adult intervention.

· More children and teens making use of the Westglen recreational spaces outside of school hours.

2. To provide an outdoor educational space that enables hands-on, experiential learning.

Outcomes:

· Greater awareness by Westglen students of the natural environment in which they live and their relationship to it.

· Greater interest in civic and environmental citizenship and in caring for home, school, and community spaces.

3. To enable more instruction in all subject areas to occur outside rather than inside the walls of the school in all seasons of the year.

Outcomes:

· More classes taking place outdoors.

· Improved concentration in students.

· Greater engagement by students with course material.

Project Vision

Part I: Redeveloped Division II (Grades 4-6) Playground

In re-developing the Division II (grades 4-6) playground we do not want to create “just another playground.” While offering a much-needed update and expansion of the playground for grades 4-6 students, we are particularly interested in creating a space targeted specifically to children ages 9 and up. Very few playgrounds in Edmonton are designed with this demographic in mind. In doing so, we seek to offer opportunities for: greater physical challenges; more open-ended and creative play; and positive social interaction.

Several designs and quotes for the playground have been obtained from playground equipment vendors that are approved by the Edmonton Public School Board. Once the final budget for the project is confirmed, additional consultation with students, parents, teachers and administration will determine the precise design of the redeveloped playground.

Part II: Outdoor Learning Space

The creation of an outdoor learning space will convert an underutilized field into a vibrant space that includes an aspen grove, native grassland, and orchard trees. It will also include sensory, pollinator, and vegetable gardens. The emphasis will be on plants native to the region, and on Indigenous culture. The plans for this project has been developed in consultation with the school administration, teachers, and Indigenous support worker, with input from a landscape designer and permaculturist. Our vision for the Westglen Outdoor Learning Space is that it be a beautiful and flexible space; that it facilitate experiential learning about nature connected to grade-specific learning outcomes; that it encourage students’ environmental stewardship; and that it reflect, and be a space for learning about, Indigenous culture. The creation of this outdoor learning space will have a positive environmental impact through the planting of more than thirty trees and the creation of 300 m2 of garden space.

The Outdoor Learning Space will better enable children to observe, respond to, and draw inspiration from the natural world in Language Arts and Fine Arts programming. It will offer an ideal environment for science units on the five senses and units on weather. It will facilitate the study of plants and animals, such as the Grade Two focus on insects, spiders, worms and slugs, the Grade Four unit on plant structure and growth, and the Grade Six unit on Trees and Forests. The tipi-inspired central gathering space, with circular seating, and native grassland and aspen grove areas will enhance social studies curriculum on prairie geography, Indigenous culture and history, and be used by Westglen’s Awasisak Indigenous Student Club.

Project budget

  • $49,365.23 – removal of existing equipment and site preparation
  • $244,709.46 – supply and installation of new playground equipment
  • $20,538.17 – supply and installation of engineered wood fibre surfacing
  • $30,000 – basketball court resurfacing
  • $40,000 – landscaping for outdoor learning space
  • $50,000 – covered shelter for outdoor learning space
  • $10,000 – storage shed for learning space

$444,612.86 – Total cost

Fundraising

Funds raised to date by the WPA through school-based fundraising: $40,000

Westmount Community League contribution: $10,000

Grants Pending

  • TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Grant: $20,000
  • Alberta Blue Cross Healthy Communities Grant: $50,000
  • Government of Alberta Community Facility Enhancement Program Grant: $125,000

Projected funds

  • Corporate fundraising: $150,000
  • Westglen Parent Association: $30,000
  • Additional Westmount Community League donation: $10,000

Donor Recognition

Donors will be acknowledged through several avenues including: our school newsletter and online message board, the website and social media platforms of the Westglen Parent Association, and in a full-page advertisement in the quarterly neighbourhood publication, the Westmount Window. A permanent donor recognition plaque will be unveiled on site at an official grand opening ceremony. Members of the community, local politicians and media will be invited to partake in the festivities. An invitation will be extended to donor organizations to join us and receive recognition for contributing to the successful completion of our project.

Timeline

  • Fall 2019: Grant applications and corporate fundraising
  • Fall 2019-Winter 2020: Finalize design wish list and start tendering process
  • Spring-Summer 2020: Installation of new play and outdoor learning spaces
  • September 2020: Grand opening of new play and outdoor learning spaces