City Council debut their first draft of the Capital & Operating Budget for 2016 under the Peace River Agreement during a committee of the whole meeting on Monday.
In that draft, council noted that ‘enhanced SD60 gymnasium’ is a project that not only fits in the budget, but is a high-priority one.
The project is part of a plan to create an bigger gymnasium in a new school. Right now, School District 60 is waiting on the Ministry of Education and the Treasury Board to approve the building of a new school.
“If and when, and I’m thinking it’s when, the province approves further school projects within the community, we’ll be looking to maximize the recreational use potential of any gymnasiums associated with those buildings by partnering with the city to an enhanced facility,” Superintendent of School District 60 Dave Sloan said. “That’s pretty much where things are as at this point.”
Many of the gymnasiums in the community are already used outside of school hours for community events and recreation – and he said the problem of fewer resources in a fast-growing town is something a bigger gymnasium in a new school could help settle.
Sloan said working with the City could give the School District the possibility to get a sizable facility. “It only makes sense for the City and the School Board to work together,” he added.
While the City looks into adding a new school to the district, Sloan said that the Northwest area of Fort St. John is a good candidate.
Explosive growth over the past few years has added more residents to the area than ever before, and as CM Finch remained the only elementary school, the School District has tried to make accommodations for more students – including adding a portable to the property.