School district looks to downtown core for new Kelowna high school | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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School district looks to downtown core for new Kelowna high school

A student walks toward Kelowna secondary school. The school district has applied for funding to build another high school in Kelowna, the first in decades.
October 18, 2017 - 12:15 PM

KELOWNA - Changing demographics and steady growth has the Central Okanagan school district pushing ahead with plans for a new high school, the first ever on the north side of Highway 97.

As well, increasing density has the district looking at the possibility of new elementary school in the downtown core, Paul says.

Secretary-treasurer Larry Paul says the capital request for the new high school on the old Dr. Knox middle school site — it would also be the first new high school built in Kelowna in decades — has moved forward within the Ministry of Education.

“They have showed an interest and acknowledged our need. We need a high school, we know that and the numbers show that we do,” Paul says.

While completion is at least four years away, the school board has asked the ministry to cover 100 per cent of the estimated $70-million constructions costs for the 1,100-student school to be built on the land supplied by the district.

Paul says a proposal for a joint mixed-use facility with the City of Kelowna has also moved forward. The City of Kelowna is planning to replace the aging Parkinson Recreation Centre which sits beside the Dr. Knox site.

“We know the city is interested and we’re beginning to build the idea. We’ll see if it gains traction,” he adds. “Land is very expensive around there and we like the idea of building up instead of out."

Kelowna has also approached the school district about perhaps also building a new elementary school as it drives to increase density downtown and in the North End.

“If that goes ahead as planned, there could be a need for an elementary somewhere down there,” Paul says.

The district closed its last North End school in the early 2000s, selling it to the Francophone Eduation Authority.

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