It looks like someone let students design one of the most unique features of the new Lord Nelson Elementary School, and that's because they did. Sort of.
While professionals did all the math and engineering, students were the ones behind the concept for slides popping out the side of the building's second floor. Principal Ankie Carswell says students were consulted when the new school was being designed.
"Some of the ideas were really creative and wishful, like a swimming pool, but they acted on the one idea of the slides," she tells Vancouver Is Awesome.
As far as she knows it's the first school in B.C. to have such a feature.
"When I was first telling colleagues they were incredulous that I had such an awesome playground feature," Carswell says. In fact, she's unaware of any schools with anything like Lord Nelson's slides, and the architects were considering submitting the school for design awards, based in part on the feature.
While the new building has been around for a couple of years, the two slides only opened up this spring as supply chain issues meant they were missing a few parts to make them fully safe. The bright orange part (that kids actually slide down) has been in place since the fall (when a few teachers may have taken a trip down under the observation of the crew building them), but students had to hold back.
"We did a 'slides open day' right after spring break," Carswell explains. "I hosted an assembly for the students because we opened a bunch of things at the same time."
That included a new playground area, a soccer field and other amenities, but the highlight for the kids was the slides.
"We had to have a rotation system so everyone had access to the slides," Carswell says. "We keep them open for a bit after school."
There are a few rules for those heading down, like no eating or backpacks, so kids looking to make a quick escape at the bell have to find a friend or llama to take their bag down the stairs. But for recess or lunch, it's a popular way to get to the playground.
Unfortunately, for those looking to try them out, the slides aren't always open, though when Carswell is around she has unlocked them for a bit. Recently she showed up when they were locked up and overheard a child in the playground lamenting the closure of the slides.
"I said I'd open them up and there were cheers from around the playground."