February 06, 2015 - 2:31 PM
KAMLOOPS - The Downtown and West End Residents’ Association is dropping out of a legal battle with the school district over the planned closure of Stuart Wood School.
Chair Bruce Thomson says the decision was made official today, Friday, Feb. 6, because the cost is too prohibitive and the likelihood of getting any meaningful change from the board is low.
“I think we did have a decent case and we do believe the board acted in a sloppy manner,” he says. “Even if we went to court and won the case, the matter would just go back to the group that made the decision in the first place.”
The group retained a lawyer in the fall and a letter was sent to the district outlining the problems lawyer Micah Rankin saw in the process. At the time, Supt. Karl de Bruijn said the letter had a lot of inaccuracies and that a lot of feedback had actually been positive.
In 2013, School District 73 began tossing around the possibility of moving the students to the Beattie School of the Arts campus on McGill Road and closing the downtown school for the 2016/2017 school year because the cost of trying to maintain the school was becoming prohibitive. Shortly after the letter was sent, the board passed a bylaw to make the closure decision official.
There was a lot of public criticism at the time, much of it from members of the downtown association, and Thomson hopes the board has learned a lesson in following proper process.
“When the board comes around to closing schools in the future, I hope they do a bit better job of it,” he says.
Once the staff and students are transferred and the school is officially closed it will be turned back over to the city. The district has been leasing the heritage building from the city.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015