New principal Michael Carere and education assistant Becky Lauriente are joined by some of their students on the new playground at Nelson’s St. Joseph Elementary. Photo: Tyler Harper

St. Joseph Elementary unveils new playground

The school has spent six years fundraising for the renovated yard

Students at St. Joseph School will be greeted by a new playground when they return to class.

New principal Michael Carere and a group of students unveiled the playground Friday ahead of St. Joseph’s first day of classes Sept. 8. Carere said the new playground was overdue.

“It’s a big change here at St. Joe’s,” he said. “We used to have pebbles everywhere, rocks flying. A little bit more safe this way.”

The school has been fundraising for six years to pay for the renovated playground. Becky Lauriente, an education assistant, said past and present parents were responsible for making it a reality.

“They’ve been instrumental in all this,” she said.

Carere said the total cost of the playground will be approximately $180,000 once the work is completed. He said the school wants to add a climbing wall and Indigenous drums.

Fundraising continues Sept. 26 when St. Joseph hosts a bottle drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Drop offs will be accepted at the playground and on the school’s front porch at 523 Mill St. Monetary donations will also be accepted.

Related: PHOTOS: Students, parents say goodbye to retiring St. Joseph principal

@tyler_harper |

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