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Vesta Properties donates $30,000 for school playground

By: Andrew Szekeres

  |  Posted: Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 11:18 am

Clayton Duguid (left) and AJ van der Linden (right) present a $30,000 cheque on behalf of Vesta Properties to Herons Crossing School, Principal Suzanne Martin (centre).
Clayton Duguid (left) and AJ van der Linden (right) present a $30,000 cheque on behalf of Vesta Properties to Herons Crossing School, Principal Suzanne Martin (centre).
ANDREW SZEKERES/Rocky View Publishing

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A new playground will be built at the Herons Crossing School in the Airdrie community of Williamstown after the school received a $30,000 donation from Vesta Properties.

“We’re hoping that this playground can also be a community playground,” Herons Crossing Principal Suzanne Martin said.

The school opened its doors just less than two years ago and has been without a playground since. The kindergarten to Grade 4 school is expected to have more than 440 registered students for the upcoming school year.

“Getting a playground in here was imperative for the students,” Martin said. “This donation from Vesta helps us to get that playground.”

The number of students have more than doubled since the 2013-14 year, when there was just 205 registered students.

Vesta Properties was founded 25 years ago in Langley, British Columbia and since then has developed homes in B.C. as well as the community of Williamstown in Airdrie.

“Giving back to the community is what we strive for,” Albertan General Manager of Vesta Clayton Duguid said. “We want to ensure the best for the residents and students here.”

The $30,000 donation to the school gives the school a total of $60,000 towards a new playground. A previous $20,000 was donated by other local businesses such as Dione Irwin and Associates, while $10,000 was raised by the school through bottle drives. Martin indicated that the playground could cost around $120,000.

“The kids are the superstars,” Martin said.

“Not only were they trying to get a playground for themselves, but for future students too.”

The school also did fundraising through their annual Christmas craft fair.

“It was great to see people from the community coming out to buy or sell all these crafts,” Martin said.

The principal plans on doing the fair again on Nov. 14.

Tickets are $1 each, with $30 to enter for families and $40 for businesses.

Martin has been an educator in B.C. as well as California, before becoming a teacher in Calgary. Eventually she worked her way up to becoming Herons Crossings’ first principal.

“The first year was hard to say goodbye to all the students leaving us,” Martin said. “You build such an attachment with the students here, they’re just fantastic.”

Martin said she is looking into getting a matching grant from the Albertan government to start building the playground. She said her intentions were to have the playground built near the parking lot, before the ground freezes this year.

Duguid said Vesta is not done with the project yet.

“We want to help with the excavation as well,” Duguid said. “We want to remain as much involved as we can be with the community.”

No plans are currently set for excavation or when the project will begin, but the area has been fenced off in preparation.

Martin was happy to see the community come together during fundraising that will help build the playground.

“With this newer community, forming connections through the fundraising has really been beneficial in getting the community closer together,” Martin said.

For more information on Herons Crossing visit

For more information on Vesta Properties visit


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