Local playground makes finalists list for $100k makeover

Local playground makes finalists list for $100k makeover

The 30-year-old play structure at the Brilliant Cultural Centre is past its prime.

A playground in Brilliant is in the running for a $100,000 make-over.

“We are so excited,” says Cheryl Tereposky, a member of the parent’s committee of the Brilliant Cultural Centre preschool.

The Cultural Centre has been named one of 10 finalists in the B.C. Auto Association’s Play Here contest. The BCAA is selecting three winners from hundreds of entries to rebuild children’s play spaces.

Tereposky says the group is honoured by the nomination, but a little suprised by it all.

“We have no idea what we did right,” she laughs. “It was our preschool teacher who did the application. She thought ‘what the heck, let’s try’. And boom! We got accepted.

“We are just jumping for joy.”

“The Brilliant Cultural Centre nomination was well-thought-out and showed a clear need for a better play space,” says Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s director of Community Engagement. “BCAA recognizes that play spaces aren’t just for kids, they’re a place for the community to meet and spend time together and their nomination detailed the positive impact a revitalized space would have on families and the greater community of Castlegar.”

The play structure at Brilliant has seen a lot of use since it was installed 30 years ago, and Tereposky says it’s past its prime. The structure has to be sanded and repainted every year or two to avoid splinters, wasps nest in the old wood, there are all sorts of hazards, and it no longer meets insurance regulations. She says only a small part of it can be used now.

“$100,000 would be a significant help,” she says. “It’s exactly what we need.”

The play structure’s not only used by the preschool at the Cultural Centre, says Tereposky, but by parents in the area wanting their kids to use the quieter, treed space for outdoor fun.

“The Centre’s nomination also shares that the playground is situated in the heart of the community of Brilliant yet children are left to play in an aging dilapidated structure,” the BCAA news release states. “The community would benefit from a new playground that is not only safe, but is also vibrant and reflects what should be located at the heart and centre of a community. “

But there’s still a hurdle. Members of the public have to vote for their local playground to win.

“We need help to get there,” says Tereposky. “There are four different ways to vote. We’re trying to get the word out any way we can.”

The Castlegar community and other British Columbians are invited to vote online for their favourite play space at www.bcaaplayhere.com where they can also view details about each finalist. Voting runs to June 17.