Plans for West Kelowna high school will displace community garden and dog park | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Plans for West Kelowna high school will displace community garden and dog park

The DeHart Community Garden in Kelowna.
May 24, 2021 - 12:58 PM

Plans to build a West Kelowna high school will put an end to a popular area community garden and dog park.

By January 2024, Central Okanagan Public Schools intends to terminate its lease with the City of West Kelowna for the Community Gardens and Dog Park located on the École George Pringle site, read an announcement from  Central Okanagan Public Schools stating their intention to repurpose the 10 acres for the George Pringle elementary school site into something high school students could access.

The garden is one of 17 in the Central Okanagan Community Gardens, which are currently full.

“Located in West Kelowna at the end of May Street off Hebert Road, this garden was built in partnership with the Regional District of Central Okanagan,” the community garden site reads.

“Located in West Kelowna at the end of May Street off Hebert Road, this garden was built in partnership with the Regional District of Central Okanagan,” the community garden site reads.
“Located in West Kelowna at the end of May Street off Hebert Road, this garden was built in partnership with the Regional District of Central Okanagan,” the community garden site reads.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Community Gardens of the Central Okanagan

“Funding was contributed by RDCO through a Provincial Spirit Grant and by Interior Health with a Community Action for Health Grant (2007). This garden is the biggest of all the CG sites thus far with 56 plots.”

Whether the City of West Kelowna will replace the amenities remains to be seen but an adjacent kid’s water park will stay put.

The plan for the school itself has been a long time coming.

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is the only high school in the city and it’s currently at overcapacity and expected to continue to grow.

It currently has 11 portables and only has a parking variance from the City of West Kelowna for an additional two portables, which is projected to only provide enough space until September 2023.

This will be further challenged by an upcoming Board decision on whether to establish a French Immersion program temporarily at MBSS.

An old Webber Road school site was once considered a contender to put the new school on, “significant uncertainties and delays related to the archaeological and historical designation, staff reviewed current land holdings and determined that the existing École George Pringle Elementary School site was the only one that would be feasible for a secondary school.”

At the May 26 Public Board meeting, the Central Okanagan Public Schools Board of Education will address the issue.

Ultimately, however, subject to funding approval by the Ministry of Education that the École George Pringle Elementary School site be repurposed for a new Secondary school.

That means the   École George Pringle Elementary School English program will move to the Webber Road Elementary School site and the French Immersion program to Glenrosa Elementary School and/or Hudson Road Elementary School effective September 2022.

This proposed solution would ensure that the Westside community has a new secondary school by September 2025.

“The new school would be on major transportation and transit routes, accommodate future growth, have two regulation sports fields, two regulation gymnasiums, and neighbourhoods of learning space to support community needs,” the announcement read.

“Elementary French Immersion programs will also be closer and more accessible to families.”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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