Decision on Stuart Wood expected soon

The school district is expected to soon make a decision over the future of Stuart Wood Elementary School.

KAMLOOPS - A report with recommendations on whether the school district should relocate students and shut down Stuart Wood Elementary School will be presented to trustees Monday.

In November administration made several recommendations focused on realigning catchment areas to help ease enrolment pressures at some high schools. Following much of the realignment it was suggested the district move students and staff from Stuart Wood Elementary School to the Beattie School of Arts McGill campus, which becomes vacant once the arts school is consolidated into the 9 Avenue location.

Superintendent Terry Sullivan says a report specific to the closure of Stuart Wood Elementary School and the relocation of students empty space on McGill Road for the 2016-17 school year will go to the board Monday but trustees will likely have more questions before a decision will be made.

“We want to make sure all the questions from the public hearing are answere... but no matter how we look at it there will be excess space,” Sullivan says, adding he wants to ensure the report is as complete as possible. “There’s a lot of financial issues I want to be sure are covered. Hopefully we will provide most of that information on the 26th.”

The costs of maintaining the aging building is one of the reasons the district is looking at the option of turning the heritage property back over to the city. That closure would also mean there would no longer be an English elementary school downtown, a move that does not sit well with many downtown residents.

“I am shocked and disappointed to hear of the potential closure of Stuart Wood School... In my opinion the school board is taking away the rights of the downtown residents who would like to attend their neighbourhood school,” resident Kim Hartnell said in a letter to the district. “I would not be as outraged as I am had the board said that the students of Stuart Wood Elementary were to be moved to Lloyd George Elementary as this school is still located in downtown Kamloops and therefore accessible.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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