École Laura Secord School is expected to have a new school gym by late 2016.
Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum announced that the Wolseley school will be receiving funding for a new gym on April 15. The exact cost of the project is not yet known, as it is still out to tender.
Rob Altemeyer, MLA for Wolseley, and Winnipeg School Division chief superintendent Pauline Clarke were also present for the announcement.
"It’s so important that our young people lead healthy, active lives," Allum said in a release. "The funding I’m announcing today (April 15) will ensure students here have greater opportunities to be involved in sports and other physical activities."
According to the release, the existing gym at École Laura Secord School "will continue to be utilized and discussions are now underway on how to repurpose it."
As for the new space, the addition is expected to be 4,000 square feet, plus space for washrooms, a teacher’s office, change rooms, and storage.
Construction is expected to start next year.
"This is very welcome news. We will make sure that we make it accessible and make it very inclusive," Principal Heather Stanus said. "We want to be able to program for our students so they’re getting the amount of physical activity they require and that we can make sure that we are providing programs during the school day and beyond the school day, like extracurricular activities."
The school has 535 students from nursery to Grade 6.
"We’re a very large school," Stanus said. "So we probably require a large gym space."
Members of the community also make use of the existing gym.
"We do have before- and after-school programs that use the existing gym before and after school hours," Stanus explained. "There are community groups that take out permits in the evening, so it’s very widely used. Our existing gym is fine, but the (new gym) will allow a lot more opportunities for programs."
Stanus would like to see the new gym match the esthetic of the rest of the school, which was built in 1912.
"We are a heritage building, so the design will have to incorporate the fact the school has beautiful architecture," Stanus said.