Central Okanagan school district representatives attended a Rutland Resident Association town hall meeting on Monday night in an attempt to address concerns around the aging Rutland Middle School (RMS).
Residents said they were concerned about asbestos, feces from mice, accessibility issues for those with disabilities and safety concerns around low-barrier housing being built in the vicinity of the 72-year-old school.
While the representatives said a $20 million addition to RMS has already been submitted to the ministry of education, trustee Norah Bowman said the ultimate goal is to have an entire new building constructed.
“The RMS school is in need of replacement and its continues to be a district priority,” Bowman said.
“Finding an appropriate school site, addressing the needs of a growing Rutland community and gaining ministry approval for the project are the biggest challenges for us right now.”
During the discussions, it was confirmed that up to $40 million would be needed to replace the aging school.
School trustee Rolli Cacchioni said they’ve also struggled to find a new plot of plan to build the school.
“We’ve met with ministers about getting a lease on land to build a new school,” said Cacchioni.
“Every time that we’ve gotten land released within the Agriculture Land Reserve, there has been a constant no for the project.”
Cacchioni said the district will now have to wait and see if the school project gets included in the ministry of education’s capital plan for the next fiscal year.
In the meantime, Bowman said $550,00 in upgrades have recently been done on the school to improve the facility’s washrooms and roof.