As Dallas, 8, scrambled to the top of the new playground at Martin Morigeau Elementary School in Canal Flats and onto a yellow railing to avoid being eaten by the imaginary sharks below, she said her favourite thing about the structure isn’t the bucket spinner that topped her wish list.

Instead she said the best part about the playground is that the builders listened to what she and her classmates wanted. The blue bucket spinners are just a great bonus, as are all the fun climbing things that she said were requested before they materialized on the school grounds.

Candy Afonso, past president of the school’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and a custodian at the school, was thrilled at the playground’s grand opening.

“It’s a dream come true,” she said. “They all enjoy it. They all love it… They’re eager to get out on it.”

Before the dream became a brightly-coloured playground filled with children running, climbing, bouncing, sliding and spinning, Ms. Afonso camped beside the construction site to guard the school community’s shared vision all through the night.

The new accessible playground includes a rubber surface made from old tires that allows those in wheelchairs to play too, so for two nights she stayed in her trailer on the school grounds keeping watch over the accessible rubber surface as it set.

The playground cost over $200,000, which was provided through the Ministry of Education, the school and many donors.

Canal Flats councillor Doug McCutcheon said “the most important place we have in our community is our school,” as he offered his thanks to the community, the school and the provincial government for building the students a fun place to play.