Replacing Rutland Middle School becomes a district priority | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Replacing Rutland Middle School becomes a district priority

A replacement for Rutland Middle School is one of the capital requests the Central Okanagan school district is making to the Ministry of Education.
Image Credit: Google Street View
May 04, 2020 - 1:31 PM

It would be better to simply replace Rutland Middle School than expand on what’s there, school trustees will hear May 6, during this week’s board meeting.

The Central Okanagan school district’s 2020/2021 Capital Plan had initially put the aging school on the radar for the “school additions” program which would mean building onto the 72-year-old school to address a growing school body.

“However, an addition would require the current school to be updated to current building code and step code requirements,” the report headed to the school board meeting reads.

“Further analysis with consultants and cost estimates for an addition/renovation would significantly increase the costs for the project.”

Increasing the capacity and building size of Rutland Middle School would also limit any growth potential for Rutland Secondary School.

"Moving Rutland Middle School to this category, the project should be the number one priority for replacement. The building age and sharing the site with Rutland Secondary School creates more challenges on the site and the costs would be more expansive than a new school," reads the report, that pegs the cost at $45 million.

Rutland Middle School has long been a concern for parents. It currently has a capacity of 425 students, however last year 570 students enrolled and enrolment continues to increase, which is why there are so many portables.

Parents have long decried its condition and MLA Norm Letnick recently made its a political talking point, saying he wanted to make sure that students at the school had appropriate classroom spaces and modern school design to meet this demand.

The school will still be second in line to a new secondary school in West Kelowna, worth an estimated $120 million.

Boards of Education are required to submit a Capital Plan to the BC Ministry of Education by June 30.

Eligible capital projects include the provision of new and replacement buses, acquisition of new school sites, creation of new educational space required for enrolment growth, and the replacement or rehabilitation of existing school facilities that have reached the end of their economic and functional life.

District staff will bring forward a final 2021/2022 Capital Plan to the June 3 Planning and Facilities Committee Meeting.

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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