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New school gym opens in Peace River North

January 10, 2024 at 10:13 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Students at Upper Halfway Elementary School will have a new space to grow and play, one which also gives neighbouring communities a gathering space, now that construction is complete on an accessible gymnasium.

“Our government is committed to building, expanding and upgrading schools throughout B.C.,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “In rural communities, gyms are a vital part of the community and serve as meeting places where communities can connect. Once again, students and families now have convenient access to a special gathering place.”

The school was originally constructed in 1960 without a gym. Students were previously using the gym facilities at nearby Halfway Graham Community Hall, which is not wheelchair accessible and lacks washroom facilities.

The new gymnasium at Upper Halfway is built to LEED Gold standards to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and utility costs. It will better support the physical education of students this fall, providing a modern learning environment for sports and activities on site. The accessible space was built with the entire community in mind, and includes features that will support community gatherings, including a food counter.

The Province invested $5.7 million for the gym at Upper Halfway school. The Peace River North School District is contributing an additional $29,000. Upper Halfway school supports students from kindergarten to Grade 10.

“We’re excited by the opportunities the new gym will bring for our students at Upper Halfway and the community in general,” said Helen Gilbert, chair, Peace River North board of education. “The gym will allow for expanded physical education offerings year round.”

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.

Learn More:

For information about the Peace River North School District, visit: https://www.prn.bc.ca

For information about major public school capital projects underway, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/major-capital-projects

For information about B.C.’s seismic mitigation program, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/seismic-mitigation

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