CANADA, July 6 – Students at Pleasant Valley Secondary School (PVSS) can look forward to a new gymnasium thanks to $15.85 million in funding now approved by the province.
“Physical education and team sports are an important part of young people’s development and learning,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education and Child Care. “I know it has been difficult for students in Pleasant Valley not to have access to a gymnasium on school grounds, and I’m glad it will soon be rectified. Our government is committed to providing students across British Columbia with safe, supportive and inclusive learning environments.
The new gymnasium will be built to LEED Gold standards and will include energy efficient design elements. Additionally, the gymnasium is constructed with non-combustible exterior materials to make the building more weather resistant and better able to withstand a wildfire. The new gymnasium will also be made available to the wider community as a gathering place for sports teams, First Nations groups and other organizations.
“The board is very pleased that the replacement of the PVSS gymnasium is being prioritized by the Department of Education and Child Care,” said Tennile Lachmuch, School Board Vice Chair, School District 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap ). “The closure of the gymnasium has been a loss for students and the wider community, as school gymnasiums play an important role in rural communities. The board is very grateful to the Town of Armstrong and the Township of Spallumcheen for providing alternative indoor spaces for students during the closure. It will be a day of celebration for the return of students from Armstrong, Spallumcheen and Falkland to an innovative and modern gymnasium. We appreciate the ministry’s support for this renewed physical literacy learning space.
The BC government is investing up to $15.2 million to replace the PVSS gymnasium. School District 83 is contributing an additional $615,000. The gymnasium was deemed unsafe and closed in 2021 after previously unknown damage to the structure was discovered. Students are currently bused to nearby municipal facilities for physical education classes and to other nearby school gymnasiums for team sports. The old gymnasium will be demolished this summer and construction will begin in the winter of 2023. The new gymnasium is expected to be ready for students in the winter of 2024.
Budget 2022 includes $3.1 billion for school capital projects over the next three years, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools.