Carlton unveils new gym

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Published on January 30, 2014

Dr. Peter Surkan, a local veterinarian and Carlton alumnus, speaks at Thursday’s grand opening ceremony. Surkan, who graduated in 1979 as male athlete of the year, noted that athletics play an important role in the lives of many at Carlton. “You should play your sports for fun,” he encouraged. “Enjoy the competition. Be self-started, not pushed. Continue to be involved all your life, whether it’s through participating, coaching, officiating or volunteering.” 

Published on January 30, 2014

Saskatchewan Rivers School Division chairperson Barry Hollick speaks during Thursday’s grand opening ceremony.

Published on January 30, 2014

The black team of students and faculty cheer during Thursday’s grand opening ceremony. 

Published on January 30, 2014

Students cheer on teammates during a mid grand opening ceremony competition, during which they broke in the new gymnasium. 

Published on January 30, 2014

Grade 12 students Jessica McDermott and Jiham Sheikh, from left, discuss the next course of action during a pre-grand opening get-together in Carlton’s gymnasium, where delegates munched on a well-received platter prepared by a few commercial cooking classes. 

Published on January 30, 2014

Mayor Greg Dionne speaks during Thursday’s grand opening ceremony for Carlton Comprehensive Public High School’s new gymnasium. 

Published on January 30, 2014

A colour party ushers in the grand opening ceremony for Carlton Comprehensive Public High School’s new gymnasium.

Published on January 30, 2014

Prince Albert Carlton MLA Darryl Hickie gives the crowd a thumb’s up before judging a student competition.

Published on January 30, 2014

Carlton Comprehensive Public High School principal Dawn Kilmer gets the crowd pumped up during Thursday’s grand opening celebration.

Published on January 30, 2014

The read team cheers during Thursday’s grand opening celebration at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School’s new gymnasium. 

Published on January 30, 2014

Saskatchewan Rivers School Division director of education Robert Bratvold speaks at Thursday’s grand opening celebration.

Published on January 30, 2014

Delegates tour the new change rooms that accompany Carlton Comprehensive Public High School’s new gymnasium. 

Published on January 30, 2014

Carlton Comprehensive Public High School students prepare treats for delegates at a get-together prior to Thursday’s grand opening celebration or the school’s new gymnasium. 

Published on January 30, 2014

Students compete in a four-way tug-of-war at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School’s grand opening celebration for its new gymnasium. 

Published on January 30, 2014

Members of the white team share a laugh during Thursday’s grand opening celebration for Carlton Comprehensive Public High School’s new gymnasium. 

Saskatchewan's largest high school now has the largest gymnasium, and Prince Albert as a whole will reap the benefits. 

 

After five years of planning and 17 months of construction, Carlton Comprehensive Public High School’s new gymnasium was featured in a grand opening celebration on Thursday.

Its stands tested to the limit, the gymnasium was packed with students and supporters to usher in the monumental day.

“Thank you for your patience, as you now have a gymnasium that, I’m sure, will play host to many provincial tournaments and activities that you’ll take part in, as well as maybe your children will in the future,” Prince Albert Carlton MLA Darryl Hickie told the riled-up crowd.

“It has been a labour of love for all of us to pressure our colleagues in government to fund this project, because it’s long overdue -- it’s been talked about for many years.”

Reflecting on the long-standing effort to get a new gymnasium built, Saskatchewan Rivers School Division chairperson Barry Hollick noted, “Getting $8 million from the provincial government is not an easy task. We had to convince them of our need.”

He credits a receptive group of local area MLAs with getting the project done, with the school board paying the balance of the $12.2-million renovation and addition project.

“This is a great day for our city,” Mayor Greg Dionne concluded. “Look at this facility -- this is incredible. The events that are going to go on, the friendships, (and) the memories that are going to be made in this facility -- that’s what it’s about.”

The new facility seats more than 1,200 people. In a way, it’s two gymnasiums in one, with room for a divider to come down and separate it in half -- one full basketball court on each side.

“It’s the largest gym in the province and it also has the highest ceiling, so you’ll never have a problem with a badminton bird or a mis-served volleyball,” Hollick noted.

A media tour after the grand opening celebration revealed new offices for coaches, a storage area, locker rooms and large dressing rooms and shower areas.

“Phys. Ed. and wellness are an important part of our provincial curriculum, and this space and equipment enables more students to participate in these courses with more room to enjoy the experience,” education director Robert Bratvold summarized.

“More students will have greater opportunity to explore, to learn and achieve.”

 

Community impact

It’s not just Carlton students who will benefit from the facility, but the entire city, Hollick noted.

“With the St. Mary gym and our gym space, I think Prince Albert’s going to be able to host some major events in the future,” he said. “Maybe we’ll have Hoopla (basketball event) here in the next few years.”

After the grand opening celebration, Hollick said that there’s much more to say about the facility’s citywide impact than what he was able to squeeze into his speech.

“There’s … going to be a real benefit to the community,” he said, noting that the first big community impact will take place in a couple weeks, when the facility will play host to a handful of Saskatchewan Winter Games events.

“The community’s going to be able to access this and use this for huge community gatherings,” he concluded. “It’s going to be a boon to P.A.’s economy.”

Thank you for your patience, as you now have a gymnasium that, I’m sure, will play host to many provincial tournaments and activities that you’ll take part in, as well as maybe your children will in the future. Darryl Hickie

 

Carlton Physical Activity Complex

There’s more to the Carlton Comprehensive Public High School renovation than a gymnasium, Hollick said during his speech.

Named the Carlton Physical Activity Complex (CPAC), the renovation’s not done yet, Hollick announced during his speech.

“Through our board’s participation, with several local and national organizations and with the contribution from our own resources … we will be putting the finishing touches on this tremendous gymnasium project by building a state of the art fitness and wellness centre,” he said.

After the grand opening celebration, Hollick explained that there’s not too much to say at this point, but that an announcement will be made in the near future.

“At first we were talking about having an open foyer, but we thought, that’s a waste of space,” he explained. “By putting a floor in upstairs it’s just a great, great room, and the view is incredible. You almost want to put a restaurant up there!”

Since the basic structure was already in place, building a fitness and wellness centre above the foyer is estimated to cost about $200,000.

“It’s going to be a great addition to the school because every team needs to get into condition, and fitness is a major thrust in all Phys. Ed. programs so we think it’s going to be a great addition to the school,” he said.

The list of donors will be made available in the coming weeks, he said, adding that between finishing the second storey floor and building an elevator he hopes to see the facility fully operational by the fall.

“We definitely want to finish it,” he said. “It’s like icing on the cake for this great, great complex.”

 

Grand opening celebration

Thursday’s grand opening celebration is worth mention in of itself, with students joining faculty in organizing and hosting the afternoon-long event.

Friends Jessica McDermott and Jiham Sheikh joined a few classes’ worth of commercial cooking students in preparing goodies for invited guests to snack on in the school library prior to the grand opening celebration.

“It’s overwhelming,” McDermott said with a grin, noting that their work appeared to have been well received.

“It’s awesome,” Sheikh offered.

The ceremony itself saw students cheer on guest delegates as well as participate in a handful of competitive activities to break in the new facility.

Grade 12 student Adam Pickering (click HERE to read more about Pickering) shared his persona insights as to why the gymnasium was important to him, and 1979 alumnus Peter Surkan offered students advice.

“You should play your sports for fun,” the 1979 outstanding male athlete of the year told the crowd of almost 2,000 people.

“Enjoy the competition. Be self-started, not pushed. Continue to be involved all your life, whether it’s through participating, coaching, officiating or volunteering.”

Organizations: Carlton Comprehensive Public High School, Saskatchewan Rivers School Division, Prince Albert Daily Herald

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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