July 23rd, 2024

Funding approved for Galbraith gym expansion


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on July 3, 2024.

Herald photo City council has approved a capital investment of $1.2 million for the Lethbridge School Division to upsize the Galbraith gym which will not only benefit students but provide more opportunity for community use, as well.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Galbraith Elementary School will be getting a larger gymnasium, courtesy of city taxpayers.

City council unanimously approved a capital investment of $1.2 million for the Lethbridge School Division recently to upsize the gym which will not only benefit Galbraith students but provide more opportunity for community use, as well.

A letter was sent to mayor and council last Oct. 25 that requested an expression of interest in the projects.

A planned $35 million modernization has been advanced by the provincial government to the design phase and as a result, the school division needed a firm commitment from the City on whether it’s willing to help fund the project before the end of October so a bigger gym can be included in schematic designs.

The expansion will amount to 200 square metres.

The City funding in 2026 comes from $10 million that was being held for future projects from previous capital budget deliberations, says the City.

“The cost savings of a shared capital project, increased access for the community and better learning experiences for city residents are favourable outcomes of partnering with the school divisions on gymnasium upsizings,” says Travis Grindle, Recreation Services Manager, in a release from the City.

“This will increase access to a modernized gymnasium and definitely help offset growing demand for gym space in the city.”

The recreation and culture department of the City will be working with LSD to develop terms for the funding which will include increased access by the community as part of the Joint Use agreement between the two.

A joint agreement between the City and local school boards was created in 1959 and is not only the longest serving such agreement but was the first in Alberta.

Galbraith, at 113 years old, is the city’s oldest school, and its modernization has been a planning request by the school division for 18 years.

“This coming modernization creates another opportunity to add additional community recreational space,” says Mayor Blaine Hyggen in the City release.

“This approval will leverage City capital funding with a Provincially-funded project to meet community needs at a reduction for taxpayers, as well as demonstrate continued commitment to school partnerships.”

The 2021 Recreation and Culture Master Plan identified the community need for more indoor recreational spaces.

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