Overall the project has a budget of $3.6 million, funded through $600,000 each from the Ministry of Education and the school district, $1.2 million from Fair Share funds and an additional $1.2 million that Electoral Area B residents voted to borrow in a referendum in January. Mierau’s work will only cover the construction, with other expenses like engineering and architectural work to be done separately at the school 30 minutes northeast of Fort St. John.
The larger gym will be built as an extension to the building, with change rooms and storage space, and the possibility of bleachers in the future. The school’s current gym was built when it was only an elementary school back in 1969 and is now too small for the school’s older students.
Materials that are in high demand, like steel, will be ordered first, and the plan is to have the roof of the extension on by the time winter hits, and the interior finished and ready for use by November or December. Secretary Treasurer Doug Boyd says so far the school is pleased with the layout and design of the gym, and expects it to be a “second to none” facility in the region. The current gym will remain as a multipurpose room.
At today’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Zone 5 Trustee Darrell Pasichnyk raised the question of whether any students at the elementary school will be displaced because of construction. Boyd explained that at some point students in the classrooms next door to the new gym will have to be relocated, and that he can’t guarantee there won’t be any disruption.