Stuart Wood decision left for another day
by Jennifer Stahn
School District 73 is considering the closure of Stuart Wood Elementary, an aging facility with no accessibility, limited gym and outdoor space and high maintenance costs.
(JENNIFER STAHN / iNFOnews.ca)
May 27, 2014 - 2:04 PM
KAMLOOPS - The board asked several questions and the report was accepted but the decision on what exactly to do with Stuart Wood Elementary School will have to be dealt with at a later date.
“No decisions have been made,” School District 73 Trustee Cara McKelvey says. “Some trustees asked questions around heritage status and renovations, but no decision either way…. A lot of factors have to go into this decision.”
The board received the report put together by Superintendent Terry Sullivan on Monday but the decision as to whether the students and staff from the school would be moved to the Beattie School of the Arts campus on McGill Road in 2016 was put off, just as Sullivan originally expected it would be.
McKelvey, the trustee for the school, notes the feedback she has received from the community has been ‘really balanced,’ even with the number of people who have publicly spoken out against the plan to relocate the students and turn the aging heritage building back over to the city.
The four options presented to the board Monday night were:
- Leave the school the way it is and not consolidate the Beattie School of the arts students into a single campus, though that move would leave the John Peterson building on 9 Avenue underused. Stuart Wood would remain a substandard facility.
- Leave Stuart Wood as is and consolidate Beattie students into one building. Upgrades would cost about $1.7 million. It would leave the McGill campus empty and Stuart Wood substandard.
- Stuart Wood could be renovated to bring it up to more modern standards and the Beattie campuses could be consolidated. Renovations of both buildings could run as high as $5.2 million and the McGill campus would be left empty.
- The final option is to consolidate the Beattie campuses, move Stuart Wood students to the McGill campus and turn the Stuart Wood building back over to the city.
Sullivan notes in the report the final option appears to be the best option.
“This option provides a better facility for the children at Stuart Wood now and going forward,” he says. “It is the best use of scarce school district financial resources (and it) would still appear to be the best option for accomplishing the educational objectives of the school district.”
The issue was first raised back in November when a report outlining how the district could realign to help deal with enrolment declines and surges was presented to the board. In March the board then held a public hearing specific to the Beattie and Stuart Wood schools.
A date has not yet been set for a decision.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014