Students at Gitwinksihlkw Elementary are returning to an improved school now that construction has finished on the new gym.
“Our government is committed to building, expanding and upgrading schools throughout B.C.,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “For too long students at Gitwinksihlkw Elementary didn’t have a gym. I’m proud that this accessible facility is now complete so that the entire community can benefit from this new facility.”
An accessible gymnasium is now complete at Gitwinksihlkw Elementary school, providing students with enhanced physical education spaces and an event space for the larger community. Before the gym was built, students had to access shared facilities at the Ts'oohl Ts'ap Memorial Centre.
“Gitwinksihlkw Elementary was the only school in our district without a gym. For many years, School District 92 and members of the Gitwinksihlkw community have lobbied for a gym and now that dream is a reality," said Winnie Morven-Hansen, chair, Nisga’a Board of Education. "We know how important physical activity is for overall health and well-being and are grateful that our students now have access to a beautiful new facility in their school. It means a lot to our students, staff and families.”
The new gymnasium will be a community hub and outside of school hours sports teams, dance groups, educational conferences, the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority, and other local groups will make use of the space. Community celebrations, such as the Nisga’a new year, Hoobiyee, will also be held in the gym, in addition to post-secondary training by the Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute.
Since September 2017, the Government of B.C. has announced 24,000 new student spaces and 35,000 seismically safer seats. This is thanks to almost $3.9 billion the Province has provided for new and improved schools, as well as land purchases for future schools throughout the province.
Budget 2023 includes $3.4 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.