December 01, 2015 - 11:30 AM
VERNON - The Vernon School District is on the hunt for a new landlord after the decision to demolish the city-owned building the district has been leasing.
School officials recently learned they won’t be able to lease the city-owned building on 29th Street anymore because it’s getting demolished. The city has asked the district to vacate the premises, which is currently home to the Open Door Learning Centre, by the end of the school year. It is unknown what the city plans to do with the property.
The notice came as a surprise, School board chair Kelly Smith says, but the district is optimistic a new location can be secured and the program won’t be impacted.
The learning centre is an adult-oriented program for students 17 and older wishing to complete their schooling in an alternate learning setting.
“It’s a very valuable program,” Smith says. “Sometimes people walk in off the street because they need just one course to graduate. It meets a wide range of needs.”
School district secretary-treasurer Sterling Olson says it will be challenging to find a new location and get moved in before the start of the next school year in September 2016.
“The hope is to find a space prior to the end of the school year. That will allows us to do renovations, move out of the current location and into the new one and be ready to go in September,” Olson says.
The district has obtained a realtor to help find a new building, and Olson says early indications are there are a number of potential spaces available. The goal is to find another spot in the downtown area.
“That’s where we believe is best for the student clientele we are dealing with. It’s nicely accessible,” Olson says.
In addition to a new location, another likely change will be the cost of rent.
“The building we were leasing was leased under some old rates and the building was of an older nature,” Olson says. “We’re not sure of the impact, but we are expecting as we go back out into the market we will probably be paying more.”
The district is currently reviewing the space needs of the program, which it hopes to finish in about a month.
“Anybody out there that has some space and are looking to have a great tenant, let us know,” Olson says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015