See how the awesome power of the press can force government into action?
Monday morning, I wrote about the contents of the long-awaited report on the desperate need for much greater community use of school gyms, which you can read here: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/school-gym-policies-a-mess-what-the--survey-found-119167369.html.
Early that very afternoon, Premier Greg Selinger announces the education capital funding budget, and lo and behold, there’ll be $50 million over five years for at least 10 new school gymnasia, which you can read about here: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/capital-budget-new-school-for-amber-trails-119234974.html.
Kind of eerie, eh? Like that Stephen King story, in which the guy got a special typewriter, and whatever he typed came true. I’d better be careful how I use such awesome power.....
Now we wait and see how many school divisions come looking for new gyms.
Selinger explained that the gyms for Queenston and George V schools — two older and smaller elementary schools in Winnipeg School Division — are already covered off in the last stages of the four-year $319.2 million education capital budget, so they’re not taking a piece of the 50 mil.
The premier did say that Kelvin High School is on the list for consideration in that new pot of money, but there’s no sign yet when the first couple of new gyms will be identified.
OK, go ahead, I’ll wait while you put in nasty anonymous comments predicting they’ll be announced in September in ridings the NDP barely won last time.
Back to our topic.
Let’s hope that regardless of the schools where the gyms are built, that they be big enough for community use — high ceilings, some room under the baskets, some space on the sides.
The obesity and inactivity health crisis isn’t going to go away easily. This will help.