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Possible school closures could lead to more community space in Penticton

Okanagan-Skaha school district 67 held a public meeting last night, Feb. 22, 2016, to invite suggestions for uses of school buildings subject to closure.
February 23, 2016 - 4:30 PM

PENTICTON - As enrolment declines and the local school district looks at closing schools in the region, other groups are looking at how they can utilize those spaces.

The B.C. French school board has a use for McNicoll Park Middle School should it fall under the chopping block March 9,  as does the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club for Carmi Elementary School.

The suggestions came yesterday evening, Feb.22, when School District 67 officials moved forward with its School Closures Policy by hosting an alternate use meeting at Shatford Centre.

School District 67 Board Chair Linda Van Alphen says the meeting, held to allow public input regarding possible new uses for school buildings affected by a closure decision, was relatively quiet, with about 40 members of the public attending.

The Conseil Scolaire Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique expressed an interest in leasing McNicoll Park Middle School for a period of three years with an option for an additional two years.

The Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs is interested in transforming Carmi Elementary into a focal point in the community by housing community organizations, service groups, agencies and resources in the building.

Other individuals suggested Carmi Elementary School might be of interest to Interior Health, Van Alphen says, noting those were personal views expressed, not Interior Heath’s.

Van Alphen says Mayor Andrew Jakubeit also spoke about the city’s joint-use agreement with the school district with respect to the sports fields at Carmi Elementary, McNicoll Middle School and Parkway Elementary.

Another personal suggestion involved turning Trout Creek Elementary into a conference centre for Summerland.

Van Alphen says the board will be receiving feedback through its website for alternative uses for a closed school for a few more weeks.

The board expects to make its closure decision on Wednesday, March 9.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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