MSS torn up in $630,000 project
Merritt Secondary School is undergoing a nearly $630,000 renovation to the gymnasium bleachers and a complete overhaul to the change rooms.
The school was built in the early 1950s and hasn’t undergone a change room renovation since that time, said Nicola-Similkameen Superintendent Bob Peacock.
The old wooden bleachers have been pulled out to make way for a new electronic system that allows more floor room.
“The old bleachers took up quite a bit of space,” he said. “Now, during classes, they will have more floor space. During tournaments and that, they can move the bleachers out.”
The constricted bleachers will only extend about three feet from the wall, while the former unit extended about 18 feet.
Hardwood flooring will be installed in the new space.
A construction crew began work at the end of August, with the goal of completing before November.
The gym lighting is also being replaced.
“It’s a dark building so the new lights will improve the lighting,” Peacock said.
The renovations could affect the quality and number of tournaments hosted in Merritt, but Peacock said it’s the quality of teams in the town that will make the biggest impact.
“The students over the last two or three years have worked hard at being competitive teams ... people will want to play them,” Peacock said. “I think that in itself will increase the number of tournaments, more so than the renovations.”
The money for the renovations is coming out of the annual Facility Grant, which was for nearly $500,000 this year.
“The money is used to also do projects for roofing,” Kevin Black, secretary treasurer for SD 58, said. “We spent $350,000 this year on roofing throughout the district over the summer.”