Nanaimo Christian School kindergarten student Imisi Oyenuga and school principal James Sijpheer cut the ribbon at the official opening of the new gymnasium on Tuesday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo Christian School gym officially opens

Private school holds assembly to cut ribbon at new facility

Nanaimo Christian School’s teams will be able to make the most of home-court advantage at their new gym.

The private school on Holland Road held the official opening of its gymnasium at an assembly Tuesday night. The full-size gym is part of a $5.3-million expansion project to add classrooms, music rooms and a kitchen. The gym space will allow the NCS Trail Blazers teams to host home games and tournaments including the provincial single-A volleyball championships at the end of November, and also Island championships for both volleyball and basketball.

Underneath the sports surface, the floor of the gym is entirely covered in scripture that the classes chose, wrote on the floor and prayed over, said James Sijpheer, school principal.

He said the school’s population, currently 450 students, will rise to 515 next year. Without the new space, he said, the school wouldn’t be able to accommodate the growth.

He recalled Genesis 26:22 and the story of Isaac digging a well.

“He said, ‘At last, the Lord has created enough space and we will flourish in this land,’” said Sijpheer. “And here we are, a brand-new space that has just opened, making room for more students to come to Nanaimo Christian School. For more students to be in a Christian school, for more students to hear about Jesus.”

He thanked project manager Donna Hais of R.W. (Bob) Wall Ltd., an alumni parent; Hais, in turn, thanked the previous generations who had a dream and vision for the school. She concluded her comments by recalling Ecclesiastes 3.

“There’s a time to take down and a time to build. So if you were here for the demolition of the gym and you’re into construction like I am, there’s a time to take it down, there’s a time to build it up,” she said. “Well, I’m here to tell you, this is Nanaimo Christian School’s time.”

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