Two girls, aged 12 and 13, have been charged with arson after a playground structure went up in flames at a northwest Regina elementary school Monday night.
On Tuesday, parents arrived at Dr. L. M. Hanna Elementary School to survey the damage.
“At first I was shocked, mortified and then I had the same thought as my daughter had: why would someone do this?” said parent, Matt Jacobs.
It’s a question many are asking after watching years of fundraising go up in flames, just feet away from the school.
“I’ve seen a lot of effort from the parents and students come through for this,” said student community council parent volunteer, Larissa Goulet.
“I would say there would be a good 10 years of solid fundraising effort to get this.”
In total, Goulet said the school community raised $83,000 for the play structure, which was built by hand last September.
In a press release Tuesday, the Regina Police Service (RPS) said its officers were dispatched shortly before 10 p.m. to assist firefighters at the scene of a suspicious fire on Davin Crescent, where Dr. L.M. Hanna Elementary School is located.
After speaking with people who were there, RPS said the investigation led them to the two girls, who can not be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
“It’s a big loss for the kids. There are lots of kids that come and play at this park, they don’t even necessarily have to go to this school. They were excited to see a new facility put here,” Goulet said.
While it’s not yet known how much damage was caused, or if insurance will cover the cost, a GoFundMe is hoping to garner community support in the meantime.
“(My daughter) said if only there were real superheroes in Regina and it made me think, maybe there aren’t superheroes, but maybe we can do something,” Jacobs said.
“It led to me start the GoFundMe page. We are giving it a shot and seeing if the community can come together and maybe even draw in some businesses or corporations to match, meet, exceed or contribute.”
Jacobs said any additional money that is raised, will go towards an additional play structure on school grounds for the older students at the school.
As of Tuesday evening, the GoFundMe raised $1,180.