Central Okanagan school trustees ponder future of Rutland Middle School

Planning and facilities committee to weigh in on frustrating lack of progress

The new Central Okanagan Board of Education has been saddled with the ongoing concern of what to do about replacing Rutland Middle School.

The planning and facilities committee will discuss the issue at Wednesday’s night meeting at 6:30 p.m., with no readily apparent solution in sight.

Board chairwoman Moyra Baxter said the RMS status is on the agenda largely to update the new board trustees about the dilemma facing the outdated school building, an issue that dates back to 2009. The building dates back to 1949.

“If we start putting a lot of money into the existing school for repairs, such as a new roof or new boilers, those expenses begin to pile up against the option of rebuilding the school,” Baxter noted.

RELATED: Plan for new Rutland Middle School upended

School district staff says RMS requires considerable upgrades to most of its systems to bring them in line with current school facility standards. Maintenance and repair costs for the last three years totaled $653,879.

The school district proposed a plan to the Ministry of Education to convert Quigley Elementary School into a replacement for Rutland Middle School, with Quigley students diverted to surrounding elementary schools that had unfilled enrolment capacity.

The Quigley makeover would have cost $35.9 million, compared to building a new school at same site at $37.88 million.

Those talks carried on until a visit from ministry officials last year quashed the idea, saying the ministry policy is to not close existing elementary schools, along with a desire to build a new secondary school in West Kelowna emerging as a new priority for the district.

The district has spent years seeking an alternative site to build a new RMS. A potential site on farmland was rejected by the Agriculture Land Commission, and proposals to pair with other existing school sites, such as Pearson Elementary, were found to be unworkable.

RELATED: Ministry of Education shares new school funding priorities

Coupled with lack of a suitable site was the ministry placing a greater funding priority on building new schools where enrolment is projected to grow rather than renovating existing schools, another aspect that dealt a blow to the Quigley option.

Baxter said replacing RMS continues to be an issue vocalized by parents, venting their frustration about why everyone agrees the school needs to be replaced but nothing gets done despite it being a priority in the school district’s capital plan .

“There is a lack of progress on this right now so this will be an opportunity for the new board, at the committee level, to discuss how we might move forward on this,” Baxter said.



barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

More childcare spaces coming for Kelowna families

The provincial government stated that additional funding will create 68 more spaces in the Okanagan

Rockets grab win over reigning league champs in first game of road trip

Kelowna beat the Prince Albert Raiders 2-1 Friday night, take on Saskatoon Saturday

GoFundMe started for Kelowna family who lost pet, home in Rutland fire

A fire tore through a Rutland four-plex in the morning on Dec. 6

Winter Blues Festival returns to Lake Country

Harpdog Brown and the Uptown Blues Band headline the 2020 show on Jan. 25

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan receives $20,000 grant

The organization announced the grant from Revera on Friday

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Healing with honesty: Justice served 40 years later

Revelstoke senior gets house arrest for sexually assaulting stepdaughter

WorkSafe BC to investigate explosion at Princeton facility

Explosion at Envirogreen waste reclamation plant occurred Nov. 27

Doors open to Vernon’s first refill store

Vernon’s Refill Store may be answer to plastics problem

Okanagan RCMP not toying around when it comes to impaired drivers

Saturday, Dec. 7 is National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Crown delves into Sagmoen’s history with North Okanagan sex workers

Decision on validity of police search warrant will be made on Monday, Dec. 9

Most Read