Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell and Pacific Christian School students dig in to get construction started on the new $6 million gymnasium. Dan Ebenal/News Staff

VIDEO: Saanich’s Pacific Christian School breaks ground on $6 million Yakimovich Centre

900 students join staff and parents for ceremony for facility set to be complete in September 2018

Staff students and parents at Pacific Christian School gathered Friday to watch the beginning of a new chapter begin to unfold for the Saanich school.

Most of the student body of more than 900 students from pre-school to Grade 12 crowded onto a patch of school grounds to celebrate the official groundbreaking for a new $6 million gymnasium.

“It’s a brand new, double-sized gymnasium, mezzanine, change room, commercial kitchen, the whole works,” PCS development director Chris Berghuis said of the PCS Yakimovich Centre set to open its doors in September 2018.

The current gym, constructed nearly 40 years ago, will be demolished in a couple of weeks once the school year wraps up.

“It was a great building but we’ve just outgrown it. We’ve been busing our children to Salvation Army across the street and we’ve been using different facilities. We just needed more room and updating,” said Berghuis.

The new gym will be a welcome sight for PCS athletic director John Stewart who expects the facility will attract a higher level of competition for the school’s sports teams.

“Where we’ve been limited a little bit with some of our facilities, we will now have a huge facility that’s going to be double in size to what we have in our high school,” he said. “We’ll be able to host large tournaments, ones that we haven’t been able to have access to.”

Both Stewart and Berghuis expressed gratitude for the countless volunteer hours dedicated by the school’s building committee and board of directors to get them to this point. Many of the school’s supporters were recognized during the ceremony, with special tribute going to the Yakimovich family for their substantial donation to bring the school closer to its $2 million fundraising goal.

A video fly through of the project is available at: www.vimeo.com/YourPCS/gym.

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Artist’s rendition of new PCS gymnasium.

PCS mascot Pacer was on hand to lend a hoof to the groundbreaking.

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