Cody Alexander, President of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9548 was on hand at the September 29th Algoma District School Board (ADSB) meeting. His chapter and the United Steelworkers District 6 Northwestern Region were both being recognized by ADSB and the Tarentorus Public School community for their generous donations in replacing and repairing equipment that had been vandalized at the Eric Nystedt Memorial Park, situated at Tarentorus P.S.
A fire damaged piece of equipment (vandalized in late summer) was removed by ADSB plant staff and sealed off for the safety of students and community children. At the time, it was unknown how long the damaged equipment would remain unusable as a replacement piece would have been costly. Much of the playground and outdoor equipment had been purchased through school fundraising efforts several years ago.
The playground and outdoor classroom were established in 2009 at Tarentorus in memory of fallen Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P.) Officer, Eric Nystedt. Eric was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie where he graduated from Bawating High School. During his time at Bawating, he excelled in athletics, particularly basketball, cross country running and track and field. He was just 24 years old when he was killed in the line of duty. Inscribed on his head stone is an O.P.P. crest, a basketball, a pair of running shoes and the inscription “Loved by all who knew him”. It was this “love”, dedication and commitment that inspired students, staff and parents at Tarentorus to enhance the grounds for their students and the community.
The playground was built in stages through 2009 and 2011 and was designed to be an inclusive space for students of all physical abilities. It includes swings, slide, jungle gym, teeter totter, spinner, a small hand glider, small tube. There are also 2 basketball courts, an outdoor classroom and a community pavilion.
Over the years, the outdoor classroom has sustained damage to the roof and tables. Happily for the school and community, the United Steelworkers District 6, Northwestern Region has graciously offered to help with the repair of the outdoor classroom. The United Steelworkers Local 9548 has generously offered to replace the playground equipment that was fire damaged this past summer.
Four students from Tarentorus attended the Board Meeting on Tuesday along with their parents and Principal, to provide the history of the memorial park and to remind those present just what a significant contribution USW has made, ensuring the playground and outdoor classroom are safe and accessible for all. Noah Edwards (Gr 8) and Amy May (Gr 7) shared a power point presentation which included some history about the playground and its namesake. Kyle Wallenius and Sophie Park (both Junior Kindergarten students) helped to present Mr. Alexander with a plaque of appreciation on behalf of the Tarentorus school community.