Students at Pleasant Valley Secondary School (PVSS) can look forward to a new gym with $15.85 million in funding now approved by the Province.
“Physical education and team sports are an important part of youth development and learning,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education and Child Care. “I know it’s been difficult for students at Pleasant Valley to not have access to a gym on school grounds, and I’m pleased that this will soon be fixed. Our government is committed to providing students across B.C. with safe, supportive and inclusive learning environments.”
The new gymnasium will be constructed according to LEED Gold standards and will include energy-efficient design elements. In addition, the gym is being built with non-combustible exterior materials to make the building more climate resilient and better able to withstand a wildfire. The new gym will also be available for use by the larger community as a gathering place for sports teams, First Nations groups and other organizations.
“The board is very pleased that the PVSS gym replacement is being prioritized by the Ministry of Education and Child Care,” said Tennile Lachmuch, vice-chair of the board of education, School District 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap). “The closure of the gym has been a loss for both students and the broader community, as school gyms play an important role in rural communities. The board is very grateful to the City of Armstrong and the Township of Spallumcheen for providing alternative indoor spaces for students during the closure. It will be a day of celebration to have students from Armstrong, Spallumcheen and Falkland return to an innovative and modern gym. We appreciate the ministry’s support of this renewed physical literacy learning space.”
The Government of B.C. is investing as much as $15.2 million to replace the PVSS gym. School District 83 is contributing an additional $615,000. The gym was deemed unsafe and closed in 2021 after previously unknown damage to the structure was discovered. Students are currently being bused to nearby city-owned facilities for physical education classes and to other nearby school gyms for team sports. The old gym will be demolished this summer and construction will begin in winter 2023. The new gym is expected to be ready for students in winter 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.