September 19, 2015 - 10:35 AM
KELOWNA - The Central Okanagan school board is making a pair of big ticket capital requests which could see construction of a new high school in Glenmore, the first in the city since the 1970s.
The board wants to build the new high school on the site of the former Dr. Knox middle school beside the Apple Bowl and not far from Parkinson Recreation Centre.
Secretary-treasurer Larry Paul says the initial request is for $70 million to build a school for 1,100 students.
“It’s a fairly small site and we are shoe-horning the school into it but we showed it can work," he says.
Paul says the project has been on their capital list for several years but had been planned for a later date.
"It's the first I can remember. We had Kelowna Senior Secondary, but that was replacement. It's been at least since the 1970s since a new high school was added."
Adjustments to the grade configurations to 9-12 at local high schools plus changing demographics means the project — part of the district’s long range facilities plan — makes sense sooner rather than later.
“We’re at the point where we need to add a high school to make the plan work,” Paul says. “KSS is designed for 1,700 and can’t handle all the students that are going to be coming its way. This will leave us with two nicely sized high schools of about 1,300 and 1,100 students”
Paul says the board is being asked to approve the intial report required by the provincial government to get a project on the books and there is no guarentee of approval.
The district is also asking the Ministry of Eductation to finance an $18.7 million renovation and addition to turn Quigley elementary into a new Rutland Middle School.
He says the intial requests represent months of work considering various possibilities for both projects before settling on the best scenarios.
His best estimate for possible start of construction of the high school, should it make it through the ministry’s vetting procedure, is three years.
“We might hear if we have made it to the next step in the process by December or January," Paul says.
Both capital requests are for 100 per cent of construction costs, with the school district supplying the land for both projects.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015