The new Giscome Elementary School and adjoining East Line activity centre were officially opened Friday.
Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond met with the school’s 26 kindergarten to Grade 7 students and toured the classrooms to highlight the official opening, according to a government press release.
“I am very proud to help officially open the new Giscome Elementary
school,” said Bond.
The fate of the Giscome school was questionable going back to 2009 when a Ministry of Education report recommending closing the then-53-year-old school, citing several structural and health concerns. Faced with the possibility of having students bused to Blackburn Elementary, the community fought long and hard to keep a school in the community. Portables were brought in to house the students and in 2012 work began building a modular school.
The $1.5-million project is part of the government’s $16.9-million program announced in 2012 to renew aging infrastructure in rural B.C. The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George contributed $556,000 for the adjoining East Line activity centre, of which $250,000 was funded by a grant from the Northern Development Initiative Trust. The centre offers a variety of student sports and recreational and multi-purpose space for community use.
“It is a testament to the hard work and determination of the families in the area, the provincial government, the school district and the regional district to have this facility operating,” said Tony Cable, School District 57 chair. “The partnership with the regional district to build an activity centre adds a significant dimension to this new modular school.”
The East Line Activity Centre will provide a place for community learning and celebration and will be a benefit to all residents in the area, said Art Kaehn, regional district board chair.
“We congratulate the communities along the East Line for working together to help make this new centre a reality,” he said.