Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) hopes its new basketball courts will be a slam dunk.
Principal Lawrence McKenzie says the parent council wants to promote student wellness, and fixing up their basketball courts was a great place to start. He notes that, over the years, the courts have become lacklustre.
"Originally, they were set up as a set of tennis courts, but we converted them to basketball courts," explains McKenzie. "They're just at that point in time now that we need to be upgrading them. We get lots of student use during the day, evenings, and weekends, and it's a really positive place for the students to hang out and have fun."
McKenzie adds that as student interest in basketball has risen over the past few years, the court has been faster to deteriorate. The principal says the most prominent issue that the court has currently is a big patch of grass right in between the hoops.
"We have one court, and it's big enough where we could have two full-size courts," notes McKenzie. "We don't have the space with the number of kids that want to play. Often, students will have to sit out and just watch, so if we can expand it to give more kids the opportunity to use it, that's what we want to do."
He says, luckily, there haven't been any major injuries due to the current state of the court. McKenzie's grateful for the custodian and operations staff, who've been doing patchwork to keep the court in as good a shape as possible.
"The division has earmarked $75,000 in their most recent budget," says McKenzie. "Now what we're doing is we're looking at reaching out to the public and different companies around town to make donations to make up the difference."
McKenzie notes they've also received over $6,000 in donations from local businesses as well.
PCI would need approximately $118,000 to renovate the court. Stacy Turner with the Parent Advisory Council at PCI says they still need to raise $37,000 to make the new basketball courts a reality.