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Sparty Park to be constructed

Wheelchair accessible playground for all community
Sparty Park facility
This is the architect’s drawing of the proposed Sparty Park facility that is to be constructed on the grounds of Victoria School this month.

Within the next couple of weeks, Sparty Park will have been built in Kamsack.

Sparty Park is the name selected for the wheelchair accessible community playground that is being constructed at the Victoria School playground.

Leah Schwartz, a Grade 4 student at the school, won the contest to name the park. Sparty, of course, is the cartoon mascot of the school and is a reference to the Spartans, which is the name by which students of the Kamsack Comprehensive Institute compete.

Although planning for the park had begun in September, it was in February that readers of the Times first learned about the proposal to have such a park constructed, joining the existing playground at the school, and at that time the committee of the Victoria Community School Council responsible for the project, had indicated the facility might be constructed in the spring of 2016.

Kendra Simon, the student support teacher at Victoria had wanted such a playground for several years, said Shelley Filipchuk, chair of the school council. It was agreed to proceed with the project this year because, in part, the school currently has four students with mobility challenges, which is the highest number it has ever had, Simon said.

Initially the playground was expected to cost about $60,000, but as of last week, committee members said that it is expected to end up costing closer to $90,000 and more than 50 per cent of
that amount has already been raised.

The playground will include four swings, two typical and two which will be wheelchair accessible; two wheelchair-accessible sand tables, four activity boards to which a wheelchair can access and a 16-foot by 16- foot shelter with benches on a concrete base.

The biggest cost is for the “pour in place” special surface that will be placed under the play structures, said Andrea Verigin, the CSS Sparty Park to be constructed this month at Victoria School --Wheelchair accessible playground is for handicapped children from the entire community co-ordinator. A rubber-like surface, it provides a cushion effect as well as allowing wheelchairs to be used on it.

The committee is pleased with the response for support for the project it has received to date.

Hired to construct the playground is One Stop Playgrounds of Humboldt.

The crew is expected in Kamsack between the middle of July and the end of the month and the work is expected to be completed within a couple of days.

While on site, the crew will be installing a new set of swings at the KCI.

This will be a park for everyone, Filipchuk said, adding that a smaller, similar park was constructed in Preeceville a couple of years ago.

In support of the project are the Good Spirit School Division, Town of Kamsack, Community Initiatives Fund, SaskLotteries, Sunrise Health Region, the Kinsmen Telemiracle, the RM of Cote and this year’s Old Dog Run.

Helping to support the Old Dog Run, being held at the beginning of August, students of the school have been selling paper cyclists and to date more than $100 has been raised for the project.

“To help make more money, we will be manning the concession at the reception for the cyclists as they return from their trip to Yorkton,” she said. Alana Smutt of Muscle Matter Massage Therapy has donated the food and beverages that will be sold at the concession.

“We’re planning a number of additional fundraisers which we will be conducting, beginning in September,” Filipchuk said.

“We’re responding to the needs of the children,” she said, emphasizing that the playground area, like the playground of the entire school, is a playground for children of the entire community, not merely for students of Victoria School.

For this project, the input of Maureen Blight, the GSSD occupational therapist, has been very valuable, said Andrea Verigin, a member of the committee. Her research and work has helped
decide which playground activities would be best for each child.