August 26, 2015 - 9:00 PM
KAMLOOPS – School District 73 is asking the province for $1 million to renovate South Kamloops Secondary. The aging school needs to be entirely rebuilt but, in the meantime, Superintendent Karl de Bruijn says the district wants to maintain the school as best as possible.
The school, built in 1951, is an outdated building “not designed for 21st century learning,” de Bruijn says.
Renovations needed include washrooms and gym change rooms, especially as it pertains mobility improvements. Of high priority are upgrades to the school’s computer labs and wifi stream.
“Connectivity is not great throughout the building,” de Bruijn says.
South Kamloops Secondary has been listed as a top priority renovation, but has been bumped in favour of seismic upgrades to schools in the lower mainland. De Bruijin adds schools the age of South Kam have been replaced in the province.
“To some degree we’re disadvantaged by the excellent work done by the maintenance division,” he says.
It will cost roughly $51 million to re-build a school the size of South Kam but De Bruijin admits securing the funding is a five- to eight-year process.
“People might ask, why spend money on a building you’re planning to replace,” he says, adding that no student should be at a disadvantage because their time at South Kam came before the new school was built. “Every student deserves a good facility that’s safe and functional.”
De Bruijn says he is “optimistic and hopeful” about receiving $1 million to fix up South Kam.
The province recently announced $20 million earmarked specifically for school renovations and upgrades. The district has until September 15 to apply for funding.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015