New park proposed near Blackie School
Foothills: Track and picnic area planned
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 01:38 pm
A section of Blackie School that was demolished could be resurrected as a recreational park for the whole community, if a group of school officials and residents have their way.
Plans are in the works to build a park just to the north of the hamlet’s existing school that could include a pathway, picnic area and exercise equipment.
“It’s for the betterment of the health and wellness of both the school and the community,” said Fred Woods, Blackie School principal
The proposal for the new park is split into three spaces.
The first priority is to build a 400-meter pathway that will follow the edge of the schoolyard. Woods said they would prefer an asphalt surface that would be easier to maintain and clear in the winter.
The second phase is to install several pieces of outdoor exercise equipment, similar to equipment in the Sheep River Park in Okotoks. Finally, Woods said they would like to install picnic tables, trees and a monument commemorating the former Blackie School.
In the future, he said they hope to be able to build a gazebo or some sort of sheltered structure in the park.
According to Woods, the school would be able to use the park for things like circuit training for students and it would be open to the community to use as well.
“Just like our playground, we use it during the school day and the kids use it after school,” he said. “The idea being it’s a picnic space with workout equipment around it.”
The plan is estimated to cost between $90,000 and $100,000.
The school council has a $15,000 nest egg to start with and the project’s backers are looking for financial assistance from the MD of Foothills.
Woods is scheduled to speak to MD council on Feb. 27. He said they’re not looking for a specific amount and will accept whatever they receive. He said they would even accept help with things like obtaining gravel to use as a base for the pathway.
The project’s backers are also looking to raise money to help with the project from the community.
Bricks from the former Blackie School were salvaged and are being sold as a fundraiser. Some are engraved with the words ‘Blackie School, 1913-2013 and a framed pencil etching of the building resting on top. Other bricks will be engraved with donor’s names and they will become part of a monument at the site.
The proposal was briefly discussed in MD council on Jan. 23.
Coun. Ralph Nelson said the proposal would be good for the community and location near the Blackie School would ensure students will be able to use it.
“If it’s something that can be done in partnership with the school it has more value than putting it somewhere else,” he said.
Nelson pointed out the MD has also given financial support to equipment at Cayley School.