Admin

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can schools apply for a school board grant if they have not already applied for a City grant?
A: Yes.
Q: We are applying for a Board grant using Form 700. Is detailed costing necessary or do we provide just a broad financial picture?
A: Detailed costing is not necessary at the application stage of the process. See sample Form 700.
Q: When are applications due?
A: November 30, 2014.
Q: Is it the first to submit their applications, or the best applications that will be considered?
A: All applications are considered. Submissions will be evaluated and prioritized based on the information provided, since funding many not be available to support all applications. There are limited funds available each year (at present $300,000). This level of funding should support 10 to 12 applications per year. 
Q: What additional information would be useful to include in the Board grant application?
A: The following is a sample of what could be included: copy of site plan, description of approach, site assessment, survey of children, letters of support, budget, quote from playground company, proof of funds, photos.
Q: Can schools apply for a City grant after they have applied for the School Board grant?  
A: All funds for the School board must be committed by March following the November grant application deadline. City grant deadlines are in May and September. A city grant applied for in May of the following year will be too late and would miss the Board’s March deadline, but could possibly be accessed for a separate phase of the school’s project. The School/School Council may apply for the City Grant for another project or second phase of the original, but must meet the City's criteria.
Note: Currently, the city will fund benches but not “naturalization” projects. 
Q: What ground cover must we use for our project?
A: Sand or pea gravel does not meet accessibility requirements. Woodchips or poured in place rubber fibre should be used. Rubber fibre costs more than wood chips. Woodchips, depending on the location, last 7-10 years on average. However, this is dependent upon the location and existing conditions of where the play structure is located. 
Q: Since sand no longer meets the accessibility requirements for ground cover, can we add a separate sandbox to our project?
A: Sandboxes cannot be on the woodchip ground cover or be directly beside it. It must be located clear of the wood fiber structure area not to contaminate the wood fiber material and should be placed in an accessible area.  It may be possible to reuse some of the sand from an existing ground cover if the material is usable (clean). A sandbox on grass may need a proper path to make it accessible. Sandboxes can be on the ground or raised.
Q: We have an existing raised frame around where the play structure is to be located. This frame means the play structure cannot be accessed by someone in a wheelchair. What needs to be done to fix this?
A: The undersurface within the frame needs to be lowered to ensure that the woodchip top layer is closer to pavement level. There will be a small lip to hold the woodchip mulch. This will be included as part of the overall project installation costs. 
Q: We’ve heard of schools posting signs on the fence inviting the public to play after school hours. Is this acceptable and desirable by the school board?  
A: Yes. Schools are encouraged to post a sign and leave gates unlocked so the public know they are welcome to use these play areas. This is particularly important if the school is applying for a City grant. However, the play structures are closed for the winter once the ground freezes for liability reasons.
Q: Can we use a parent or a company the school knows to do some of the work - for instance the excavation or demolition of the old play structure?
A: No. All services must be tendered by the School Board. Parents are able to do some of the “soft” infrastructure such minor planting and mulch installation with small shovels, spades. No power tools may be used or heavy equipment work done.  
Q: Is there a process for installing trees?
A: The District currently has a standing agreement for various trees, depending on size, quantities, etc. For the installation of any of these items can be implemented through a submission of a form 800.  Costs are subject to change since standing agreements are re-issued, discounts on multiples, so any school interested in any of these elements should inform the School Principal / Area Supervisor for an estimate from Design & Construction. 
Q: Are there restrictions on boulder seating?
A: The cost is approximately $420/boulder. To have a contractor on site costs $75. All boulders must be approved and must be surface weathered, the correct size, shape and buried into theground by 1/3rd for stability. Costs are subject to change since standing agreements are re-issued, discounts on multiples. Schools interested in any of these elements should inform the School Principal and Area Supervisor of their interest and request an estimate from Design & Construction.
Q:We’ve heard various items are available through standing offers with the school Board. What is included? What is the process for accessing these products?
A: Basketball nets, soccer goals, benches, bicycle racks, 3-ball hoops and tetherball are all available under a Board standing agreement. The installation of any of these items can be implemented through a submission of a form 800.  Costs are subject to change since standing agreements are re-issued, discounts on multiples. Schools interested in any of these elements should inform the School Principal and Area Supervisor of their interest and request an estimate from Design & Construction.
Q:We want to put in a stage for the kids to play and sit on. It will also help protect some tree roots. Can we do this?
A: All “play” equipment, including a stage, would need to be accessible.
Q: We want to add a garden or some trees to our yard but don’t need a new playstructure. What do we do?
A: Attend the workshop sessions on School Ground Greening. 
Q: Where do we go to get costing estimates for play structures, benches, boulders, trees, pavement games, etc.
A: There are various sources where you may obtain estimates. Jeff Kaster (Evergreen)  or Daniel Fournier (Design & Construction) can do a site assessment of your school and provide costing. The cost for a structure is based on the size of the play structure area and the type of equipment proposed.  Many of the play structure manufacturers have catalogs, which could be used only as a guide.  The District has included recent projects for reference which is useful to provide the magnitude of cost with-in reason. Check out other Parent Council playground fundraising websites for their estimates or hire a landscape architect. 
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