Parents plead for gym expansion at Hammond Bay school

NANAIMO – Hammond Bay Elementary's parent advisory council is imploring the school board to consider funding for a bigger school gym.

Ecole Hammond Bay Elementary’s parent advisory council is imploring the Nanaimo school board to consider funding for a bigger school gym.

Jennifer Therriault, the school’s parent advisory council chairwoman, told school trustees at Thursday’s budget consultation meeting that the “half-size” gym has a maximum capacity of 312 people, yet current enrolment is at 347 students. Requests have been made for many years to numerous school boards, she said.

“We can’t host games or tournaments at our school,” said Therriault. “Kids aren’t learning plays because basically, if you make two passes, then you’re out the other side of the gym.”

Therriault pointed to the basketball keys, which she said are “inverted and overlapped.”

Additionally, assemblies cannot be held, as the student body and school staff aren’t able to fit in the space, according to Therriault’s presentation. There are also safety concerns, as there is no adequate interior space for people to safely meet in the event of an emergency.

Steve Rae, school board chairman, agreed that the school needs a better gym and said it will be a priority as budget discussions progress. However, while Therriault said the advisory council doesn’t want funding at the expense of money designated elsewhere, Rae said that isn’t possible, due to lack of funding from the provincial government.

Rae suggested money could come from approximately $2.5 million in money that was designated for the Cedar Community Secondary School conversion project, which is currently on hold.

“I think what we need to do, is we need to figure out what’s happening with Cedar first, because that’s where a lot of our [annual facilities grant] funds are tied up right now,” Rae said. “So once we determine what happens in Cedar, it will become crystal clear, but I can tell you, [a gym] is a top priority for this board.”

The school district’s 2015-16 budget is expected to be adopted by May 5 and submitted to the B.C. Ministry of Education the following day.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Suspect and Mountie bitten by police dog during arrest south of Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

City to re-name community policing office and keep it open

Council votes 6-2 for city to maintain a presence at Victoria Crescent office

Nanaimo RCMP seek help finding missing Nanaimo boy

Chaas Mearns, 13, was reported missing Jan. 30

Construction set to begin on Nanaimo airport terminal expansion

First phase of construction project to begin in March or April

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

VIDEO: Buccaneers double up Generals to win Game 2

Nanaimo now leads the best-of-seven series against Oceanside two games to none

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 22

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

More snow forecast to fall Friday on Vancouver Island

Environment Canada calling for 2-10 centimetres on the east coast of the Island and areas inland

VIDEO: Buccaneers double up Generals to win Game 2

Nanaimo now leads the best-of-seven series against Oceanside two games to none

Indigenous elders share history with Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District students

‘Our kids learning their history through elders is nothing that we can find in our textbooks’

Bryan Adams opens Canadian tour in Victoria

Tickets go on sale next week for June 5 Save-On-Foods show

Suspected serial killer targeting Toronto gay community now faces six murder charges

Bruce McArthur now charged with murders of six men: Toronto police

Trump suggests more guns in schools to combat shootings

Trump floats two-step plan for gun control: More guns, more control

Second Russian athlete tests positive for doping at Olympics

Russian Bobsled Federation states a drug-test sample that pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva gave on Sunday was positive.

Most Read