Groundbreaking in Port this Sunday

  • Oct. 10, 2007 6:00 p.m.

Construction of what may be the first building of its kind in BC will get underway this month, with a groundbreaking ceremony to be held in Port Clements this Sunday afternoon (Oct. 14). The new building, officially known as the Port Clements Multi-Plex, will house the village’s municipal offices, a seniors’ centre, the community library, and the local elementary school. “This is a unique building, probably the first one in the province that I know of where we are having municipal offices and a school building on one site,” said school district secretary-treasurer Ken Campbell. “I see it as a bit of a template for many small communities in BC… This could be an example.” Port volunteers have been working on the multi-plex proposal for many years, and had already secured most of the funding when the school district started discussing the idea of adding classroom space to the building. The Port school was built in the 1960s and is big enough to hold 150 students, but enrollment has declined to just 44 this year. As well as being too big for the number of students, the building needed expensive heating and ventilation work done. The multi-plex will have three classrooms, office space and washrooms for the school, council chambers and offices for the village, and a middle section of shared facilities including a library, a kitchen, a seniors’ room and a playschool room. The existing school gym, a stand-alone building, will continue to be used as a gym and a community facility, Mr. Campbell said. The multi-plex will be built on school district property, right beside the current school, and will be owned by the district, he said. The school board and the village have worked out a shared ownership agreement which identifies how future maintenance costs will be divided. Construction of the $4.2-million building is scheduled to be complete by next spring, with students attending school in the new classrooms next September. The groundbreaking ceremony takes place this Sunday at 1:30 pm on the school field, with refreshments to follow. Everyone is welcome to attend.