NEWS RELEASE · 5th May 2010
Ministry of Education
Students, teachers, community members and Aboriginal elders celebrated today at the groundbreaking ceremony for the gym replacement at Sir Alexander MacKenzie Secondary in the Central Coast school district, Minister of Education Margaret MacDiarmid announced today.
"I am delighted with how quickly this project is moving forward. This school has been a vital part of the Bella Coola Valley community for more than half a century," said MacDiarmid. "Breaking ground on this very important project brings this community one step closer to having a new gym that will serve not only as a school facility, but as a community hub that will help build a healthier future for our students by transforming sports and recreation programs at the school."
The $2.6-million replacement gymnasium, which will be an energy- efficient building, will use wood as the primary building material and will be 557 square meters in size - approximately the size of a tennis court. The Bella Coola Valley community can expect to start using the facility by the end of the year.
"We are very excited to be celebrating the groundbreaking of this project today, because this facility plays such an important role in addressing the needs of the students and members of the community," said Central Coast board chair Robyn Willis. "This new energy-efficient gymnasium will serve the school and community as the only secondary school-sized facility in the Bella Coola Valley and will naturally become a central location for sports and community events."
"This new gymnasium holds so much meaning for the Bella Coola Valley community," said MacDiarmid. "The fact that this facility will be used by the school and also by the community captures the spirit of our government's Neighbourhood Learning centre concept; we believe that all public spaces should be utilized by entire communities, and this new facility will serve that purpose."
The Province has invested more than $1.7 billion to complete 80 new and replacement schools, 148 additions, 26 renovation projects and 22 site acquisitions across B.C. All new and replacement schools have been constructed to meet the latest seismic standards. By the end of 2009- 10, the Province will have committed more than $3.8 billion in school capital and maintenance projects throughout B.C.