PROVINCE ANNOUNCES NEW GYM PROJECTS UNDER $50-MILLION, FIVE-YEAR ACTIVE SCHOOLS FUND
Fourteen Manitoba schools, their students and communities will benefit from new and renovated gyms as part of the first phase of the province’s five-year, $50-million Active Schools Fund, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today.
“We all know how important it is that young people lead active, healthy and happy lives,” Allan said. “Our five-year plan will give young people greater opportunities to be involved in sports and active lifestyles that will last a lifetime.”
Starting in 2011-12, projects under the Active Schools Fund will be implemented in three phases, the minister said. New gym construction projects to begin over the next two years include seven elementary schools: École Bonaventure in Selkirk, George Fitton School in Brandon, Arborg Early Middle Years School in Arborg, Lord Nelson, LaVerendrye and Queenston schools in Winnipeg, and École St. Georges in the Division scolaire franco manitobaine (DSFM).
Schools that will see expanded, renovated or upgraded gym facilities in the next two years include Nordale, Howden and St. Avila elementary schools and Dakota and Fort Richmond collegiates in Winnipeg, Swan Valley Regional Secondary School and Morden Collegiate.
Beginning in 2013-15, the second phase of the plan will include W. C. Miller Collegiate in Altona, Kelvin High School, Vincent Massey Collegiate and Laura Secord School in Winnipeg, and Green Acres School in Brandon. Further assessment will be conducted and construction is estimated to begin in two to four years, said Allan. Phase three will focus on additional projects recommended by school divisions for consideration.
Since 2000, the school capital construction program has seen the construction of 27 new gyms and five gym additions. This is equivalent to adding 170,000 square feet of gymnasium space to schools across Manitoba, the minister said.
“I am very proud of our government’s commitment to Manitoba schools. We have invested more than $737 million in public school capital projects since 1999,” said the minister. “In partnership with school divisions, we have built 18 new schools and 13 replacement schools, as well as completing extensive renovations and additions to dozens of existing schools."
The Active Schools Fund builds on the successful implementation of mandatory physical education in Manitoba high schools introduced in 2008 as a result of recommendations from the Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Task Force and will support students in attaining physical education/health education graduation requirements, said Allan.