News / Ottawa

Community raising funds after school play structure torched

Replacing Le Phare Elementary School’s junior kindergarten play structure will cost about $60,000

Students, past and present raise money for a new play structure at Le Phare Elementary School, after the previous one was set on fire last week.

Tim Tierney

Students, past and present raise money for a new play structure at Le Phare Elementary School, after the previous one was set on fire last week.

The Gloucester community has rallied around Le Phare Elementary School, after the school’s junior kindergarten play structure was found burned to the ground Thursday morning.

The wooden play structure, used by children ages 3 to 5, had a yellow slide, wooden bridge and fireman’s pole. Ottawa Police have opened an arson investigation.

The charred remains of the play structure at Le Phare Elementary School in Gloucester after it was burned down last week.

Handout/GoFundMe

The charred remains of the play structure at Le Phare Elementary School in Gloucester after it was burned down last week.

Within hours, community members, local business owners, parents and students started planning to fundraise to build a new play structure. A GoFundMe page set-up online has so far collected $3,350. A lemonade stand held Saturday raised $1,300.

“I’ve never heard of that amount from a lemonade stand,” principal Julie Morris said.

A new play structure will cost about $60,000. Morris said the school was planning to replace it soon and had already set aside about $20,000, but this has forced them to move up their plans.

“This community is rallying really hard to get the money together, so we can be in a position at the start of the school year to be able to say we have the money and we’re able to move ahead,” Councillor Tim Tierney said.

Morris said students and school council will be involved in the design of the new play structure and the hope would be to get it built before winter, but at least by next spring.

The students will be able to use another play structure in the meantime.

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