The community of North Central Regina that surrounds Sacred Heart Community School still hopes they’ll receive a new gym.
Last April, the school’s gym was deemed unsafe and condemned. NDP MLA Warren McCall started a petition calling for the necessary renovations.
Rhonda Callfas, who was picking up her nephew from school said, “My friend needed three signatures for the school. She told me to sign it because it’s for the kid’s school…to replace the school gym, so I signed it.”
Noah Wernikowski, media contact for the Regina Catholic School Division, said they made a request to the Ministry of Education for funding to repair the entire school but the situation became far more urgent when they could no longer use the gym.
In June they finally secured money to purchase an old church next to the school. They used $500,000 in reserved money and received $1 million from the ministry to make renovations.
“Ironically its one of the largest elementary school gyms we have right now,” said Wernikowski, “We’re very, very pleased with this.”
Major inconveniences stem from the gym now being in separate building, so the students have to put on their jackets when they go to it. As well, it’s not connected to the school’s intercom. The division is waiting on money for renovations to the whole school.
“The closing of the old gym was a symptom of another problem, that problem being that the school itself is aging,” said Wernikowski, “We’ve been told that likely the money will come through in March and then we can look at doing broad renovations for the school which will likely include building a new gymnasium.”
he community has long expressed concern with the condition of the school and impatience over lack of money for necessary renovations. Wernkowski says that these concerns are shared by the school division.
“A gymnasium is such an important part of the quality of education that we offer. Having no gymnasium for school like that is devastating. So it was important for us to act as quickly as possible in order to get something functioning,” Wernkowski said.