November 10, 2014 - 1:20 PM
KAMLOOPS - The decision to close Stuart Wood School could become official this afternoon as the school board prepares for a special meeting to pass the official bylaw.
The decision to present the bylaw at a special meeting comes on the heels of a letter sent to the district from the lawyer representing the Downtown and West End Residents’ Association last week. The letter outlined several legal issues with how the district handled the decision to close the school.
While Supt. Karl de Bruijn says they followed all the steps required, he admitted they still had to pass a bylaw for the the decision to become finalized. Now the board is looking to pass that bylaw this afternoon at a special meeting being held prior to a school trustee all-candidate event at Thompson Rivers University this evening.
In order for the bylaw to pass all trustees must first agree to consider all three readings at the board meeting, a majority of trustees must be present and vote in favour of adopting the bylaw.
The subject of closing the school first came up in November 2013 when a report outlining suggested realignments within the district was presented to the board. The district then began accepting public input on all the suggestions, which included relocating staff and students from Stuart Wood School to the McGill Campus of Beattie School of the Arts in September 2016 after those students have been consolidated into one school.
The closure of the only English elementary school in the downtown core has been contentious from the start, but the costs and size limitations of keeping the heritage building operating as an elementary school led trustees to agree to close the building as a school and turn it back over to the city. The city is now in talks with Thompson Rivers University about using the building as a downtown campus.
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