Schools make use of community centre spaces


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This article was published 13/11/2020 (934 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitoba is in its eighth month of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and schools have been forced to be clever and creative to obtain additional classroom space in response to new physical- and social-distance requirements.

Last week, the entire province of Manitoba was moved into critical or code red status on its pandemic response system; however, public health officials have determined that keeping schools open is what is best for students and working parents.

The code red restrictions included the closing of all Winnipeg community centres and public libraries and call mandatory mask-wearing in public.

Photo by Derek Dabee
Maples Collegiate students are holding some phys-ed classes in the gym at Maples Community Centre.
Photo by Derek Dabee Maples Collegiate students are holding some phys-ed classes in the gym at Maples Community Centre.

With the strict distancing protocols, schools are pressed to find additional schoolrooms and gym spaces.

Now, most of the 63 closed community centres in Winnipeg are available to their area’s respective schools. The province has listed schools as one of the essential services and community centres are allowed to rent spaces to schools.

Maples Collegiate and Maples Met School in the Seven Oaks School Division are renting the Maples Community Centre for student classes, gym and sports activities. The students also use the centre’s two outdoor hockey rinks, the basketball court and the extensive open fields for hiking.

“The alternative school spaces give us opportunities to be creative. We now have students with online training to do their phys-ed classes/workouts in their respective home,” phys-ed teacher Matthew Koenig said.

The Maples Community Centre indoor hockey arena is also available to area schools, and teachers are starting to program student winter skating activities. ‘Learn to skate’ classes are proving very popular with local students.

Derek Dabee is a member of the board of trustees of Seven Oaks School Division and a community correspondent for The Maples. You can contact him at

Derek Dabee

Derek Dabee
The Maples community correspondent

Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples.

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