The first phase of the $1.2 million Langdon school playground project is complete and plans are underway to begin phase two.
The first phase commenced two years ago and ultimately came in $20,000 under budget at $155,000.
It includes a concrete swale and a junior accessible playground, which is the first of its kind in the county.
“This project is going to put Langdon on the map for recreation,” said project manager Shelagh Phelps.
“Our school ground used to be a graveyard after school, and now there are always kids there. That is what school should be, the centre of the community.”
The next phase will cost $450,000 and includes a senior playground complete with a section of pathway. Berms, gazebos and trees will help create an area for older kids to gather, something that currently doesn’t exist, according to Phelps.
“We want a place to sit and visit,” said Phelps, who has three elementary school children attending the school. “(Currently) there is no place to go for shade.”
Organizers are hoping to complete the second phase in two years.
Phase three will include fixing the soccer field, which is currently inadequate, according to Phelps.
“Langdon kids can’t play in the league, because they don’t have a home field,” said Phelps.
“There is no decent soccer field.”
Currently, Langdon residents go to the surrounding communities of Calgary, Chestermere and Strathmore to play soccer.
Although the project has been frustrating at times, Phelps, a professional project manager, said she is pleased with the progress, especially the commitment of the 162 people and businesses who have volunteered for the Langdon School Playground Committee.
The committee has received thousands of dollars worth of donations and labour towards the project, which was endorsed by the local school as well as Rocky View County and Rocky View Schools.
Phelps said the County process should be streamlined to make it easier for volunteer groups to do similar projects, during a presentation at the Rocky View County Public Services meeting, Oct. 12.
“These are community necessities, they aren’t really (just) a nice thing to have,” said Phelps.
“(Kids) need to be engaged in something, so that is the whole premise behind this. We want people to go and play and to participate in organized sports. We wanted a place for families to go and gather.”
Several Rocky View County council members expressed gratitude to the volunteer group.
“You have done an excellent job and hopefully we can stay behind you for another three to five years, or however long it takes you to finish this project,” said Jim Rheubottom.
“Thank you for all your work in the community,” said Reeve Lois Habberfield.
“I think we are very proud and happy to help. I think we do want to promote all of these things for communities.”