Future of Thornhill Jr. gymnasium up in the air

One community sports group is concerned about where they are going to practice in 2012 with the closure of Thornhill Junior’s gym.

  • Jan. 18, 2011 9:00 a.m.

One community sports group is concerned about where they are going to practice in 2012 with the closure of Thornhill Junior’s gym.

The gym is used for a variety of sports and community events, and one of its biggest users is the Terrace Badminton Club.

Andrew Blix, executive for the club, said the decision to close the school may be a crushing blow to the organization if the gym were to go along with it.

“If there is no way of keeping the gym open I see it seriously affecting the sport of badminton in Terrace,” he said.

The club currently has around 50 members using the club twice a week, as well as drop ins.

John Garossino, facilities manager for the school district, said that until an actual discussion takes place he can’t say what will happen to the gym.

“We are not going to spend educational dollars on maintaining a facility that is not used for educational purposes,” Garossino said.

However, he did say that in the past the district has worked with outside groups in regards to using facilities in a school which has been closed.

“What we do if someone wishes to incur the cost for operating the facility then we would look at going into an agreement,” said Garossino.

According to Garossino, there are different levels of service to maintaining a facility. In some situations, the building is basically shut down.

Blix said that the club would most likely be willing to pay more to assist in the maintaining of the Thornhill Junior gym.

Currently the club pays $2,000 annually for the use of the facility.

Blix said if the gym were to be closed with the school, the club would probably look to move to Caledonia Secondary or Skeena Junior Secondary. He feels this would be problematic as the club would almost certainly not get the time slots it needs to keep membership strong in the club.

Thornhill school board trustee Gary Turner said discussions about the Thornhill Junior gym are not something that the board is looking into at the moment.

“It’s going to be a long time down the road,” said Turner.

The decision to close Thornhill Junior Secondary School was made Dec. 15 by the school board in an attempt to save money because of declining enrolment.