There may not be a new Rutland Middle School coming to Kelowna but it might become a bigger school - InfoNews

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There may not be a new Rutland Middle School coming to Kelowna but it might become a bigger school

Rutland Middle School won't be replaced but may get an addition.
Image Credit: Google Street View
June 13, 2019 - 11:05 AM

KELOWNA - After years of unsuccessfully lobbying the provincial government to replace the aging Rutland Middle School, School District 23 is now asking to add to the school and fix part of the roof.

That’s a key change in the district’s Five Year Capital Plan that was approved by the Board of Education at its June 12 meeting.

“The information that we received from the ministry on multiple occasions is ‘you’re not going to see money for the replacement of that school,’” Eileen Sadlowski, secretary-treasurer for the district, told iNFOnews.ca. “What’s also happening there, it’s not just because of the building being old, it’s because of the enrollment growth that’s happened in the area.”

The school addition, if approved next spring, would replace 11 portable classrooms currently being used and almost double the school’s capacity to 800 from 425.

Topping the priority list for new schools is still a Westside Secondary School.

The province has already authorized the purchase of land for that school and Sadlowski hopes to have that done by the end of 2019. But, she noted, it’s difficult to find a 10 to 12-acre property in a suitable location — preferably in the western area of West Kelowna.

A request has also been put in to buy land for the district’s number two priority for new schools, Glenmore Secondary.

The district already owns 8.5 acres at the former Dr. Knox Middle School site at Burtch and Bernard. That’s too small for a secondary school and part of that land makes up about one-third of the Apple Bowl.

There are ongoing discussions with the City of Kelowna about combining the school in some fashion with a new Parkinson Recreation Centre.

Funding for new elementary schools in Wilden (for 2021-22) and near UBCO (2022-23) is also being requested along with numerous school additions and upgrades.

The province isn’t expected to make funding announcements until next spring and there is no way of knowing how many projects will be approved.

“Surrey got $300 million plus to build five schools in one swoop,” Sadlowski said.

While Surrey is a larger school district, the Central Okanagan may be the fastest growing in the province, she said, adding that two high schools being approved in one year is not out of the question.

 

 


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