There may be more gym space the general community can use when Parkcrest elementary in Brocklehurst is rebuilt.
The City of Kamloops is partnering with School District 73 to create a large gym in the rebuilt Parkcrest elementary in order to add more court space in the city — a need identified in the municipality’s recreation master plan.
During a meeting on Wednesday between the municipality and SD73, board of education chair Kathleen Karpuk invited the city to partner with the district on the project to create the space accommodating community activities.
“Make it more of an asset for the community above and beyond just a school,” Karpuk said.
It’s a step that’s been taken before, notably at Pacific Way elementary in Aberdeen, where the gymnasium is larger than that typically found at elementary schools, to allow community groups to use it.
Parkcrest was destroyed by fire on Sept. 5, but due to emergency funding, the Ministry of Education is rebuilding the facility where it once stood as quickly as possible.
City CAO David Trawin told KTW the city and SD73 have been in talks regarding the partnership since the fire and will continue to discuss costs before bringing a proposal back to council.
Trawin said the school district will complete the design and cost estimates comparing an elementary school gymnasium with a regular-sized gym, for which the city would pay the difference.
“It makes sense dollar-wise,” Trawin said, adding this route would be cheaper than paying for an entirely new facility.
SD73 facilities director Art McDonald said funding approval for the new school will hopefully come through next spring, noting the district will need to hear back from the city by the end of November, when he puts the project report together.
Trawin hopes to find out what the exact cost on the city’s part will be.
If approved by council, the cost will be added to the municipality’s supplemental budget in the spring.
If the city goes this route, the gym space will be available for the general public to rent out after school hours.
“Elementary basketball hoops, some of them are eight feet [tall]. These could be potentially 10 feet,” Trawin said.
“This would be a regular-sized gym so you could have adult basketball games. You could have other things in there where you couldn’t do that in an elementary school gym.”