Giscome’s elementary school and activity centre set a new standard this month for rural community revitalization projects.
Giscome Elementary and the adjoining East Line Activity Centre opened January 16th to a crowd of 60 people, including Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George Chair Art Kaehn and Northern Development CEO Janine North.
The $1.5 million project was part of the Province’s 2012 plan to renew aging infrastructure in rural B.C., and serves as an example of how multiple organizations can collaborate to build sustainable, multi-purpose infrastructure that strengthens small communities.
Northern Development provided a $250,000 grant through its Economic Diversification Infrastructure program to help build the school’s new East Line Activity Centre.
The activity centre includes a gymnasium, multi-purpose room and kitchen that can be used as a recreation space for students and a gathering space for community events.
The two-classroom modular school allows students in the Upper Fraser area to learn in their own communities instead of travelling up to three and a half hours return by bus to Prince George.
The school’s 26 students attended the grand opening celebrations, which included speeches from the funding partners and presentations from the students.
Giscome Elementary and the East Line Activity Centre are located 40 kilometres east of Prince George in the historic Upper Fraser area, which also includes the communities of Willow River, Longworth, Upper Fraser, Penny and Sinclair Mills.
“I am so proud to attend the Giscome Elementary opening. Seeing this project through its many stages – conception, ground-breaking, construction and now opening – is an exciting achievement for the students, parents and community of Giscome,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Prince George-Valemount MLA.
“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. We congratulate the communities along the East Line for working together to help make this new centre a reality,” said Art Kaehn, Chair, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and member of Northern Development’s Prince George Regional Advisory Committee.
“This project is an investment in the sustainability of our rural communities. The East Line Activity Centre will be a hub for sports, recreation and community gatherings that will support families in Giscome, Willow River, Longworth, Upper Fraser, Penny and Sinclair Mills. This building will ensure that families in these historic communities will have access to education and a vibrant community centre for years to come,” said Janine North, CEO, Northern Development.
• Giscome Elementary is a two-classroom modular school with an adjoining activity centre that includes a gymnasium, multi-purpose room and kitchen
• The East Line Activity Centre will serve as a recreation and gathering space that will serve families in a number of communities including Giscome, Willow River, Longworth, Upper Fraser, Sinclair Mills and Penny
• Northern Development provided $250,000 to support the development of the East Line Activity Centre
Northern Development Initiative Trust