Rutland Middle School's future is a key component that needs addressing with the anticipated student enrolment growth facing Rutland area schools. (File photo)

Enrolment crunch options for Rutland schools

Central Okanagan Public Schools seeks public input for long-term plan strategy

Central Okanagan Public Schools has turned its attention to enrolment issues and potential solutions facing Rutland area schools.

In a long-term facility plan discussion paper which will be the focus of an upcoming virtual town hall Monday, Feb. 8, 5 p.m., options are outlined to deal with an estimated 750 to 1,000 additional students by 2030 based on residential build-out predictions for the next decade.

Below are options with some of the pros and cons suggested in the discussion paper compiled by school district staff for several Rutland schools facing overcrowding or replacement concerns:

Rutland Middle School

• Replacing the school with a 750-student capacity new middle school on the same site – the current Rutland Road site accommodates both Rutland middle and senior high schools which limits space for existing school additions; enrolment projections of over 2,000 students for both schools raises challenges for vehicle and pedestrian traffic, sharing sports fields and implementing the new curriculum; replacement school construction on site will create additional challenges of how to accommodate staff and students needs; mechanical equipment at RMS that serves the secondary school needs to be factored into the removal of middle school from the site.

• Adding an addition to RMS to meet enrolment demands – significant renovations raise educational standards and building code requirements; would require at least another 12 portables during the construction process, adding to the 11 already in use; school building currently is structurally sound; limited locations on-site to build additions to both RMS and RSS.

* Build a new middle school with 750-student capacity on a new site – general uncertainty of property acquisition, application approvals, long timelines and potentially high costs through the application process make this option undesirable; Agricultural Land Commission has already balked at allowing a new school to be built on Agricultural Land Reserve site; after extensive review, no sites to house a new school could be found within Rutland catchment area.

Springvalley Middle School

• Construct new addition to existing school – limitations due to shared site with Springvalley Elementary which limits the expansion of either school; construction will need to displace students depending on the design of an addition; more portables would be used during that construction phase; catchment boundary review will be required to change feeder schools and balance the enrolments for a new capacity middle school.

• Construct a new 750-student capacity middle school on the Quigley Elementary site – the site has to accommodate two schools and playing fields for both but sharing a site limits future growth potential/additions if necessary; conflicts with neighbours because of vehicle traffic increase; the middle school sites would be close to each other.

• Construct a 900-capacity middle school on Quigley Elementary site – similar issues to the 750-student option, an increased capacity option would be able to accommodate increased enrolment projections for both middle schools in Rutland, with the site still large enough to house both the elementary and a new larger middle school.

Rutland Secondary School

• Construct a six classroom addition/renovation to increase Rutland Secondary School to 1,700 student capacity – alternative to find a new site for larger secondary school will be extremely difficult due to limited land availability; RMS issues need to be resolved before addition to RSS could occur; if the middle school remains on-site that limits locations on the site to construct additions; the Ministry of Education funding is required and potential timing for approval remains an unknown.

Black Mountain Elementary School

• Increase student capacity from 300 to 425-475 capacity – the school has room to accommodate an addition but are undeveloped portions of that site that are sloping and require fill; Black Mountain residential area continues to expand on both sides of Highway 33 (number of households as expanded by 15.6 per cent since 2012); education ministry won’t support addition proposal if there is the capacity to absorb more students in neighbouring schools.

• Catchment boundary review – could consider revising catchment boundaries to alleviate capacity constraints at Black Mountain Elementary; six of eight elementary schools in the Rutland area lie within the urban centre of Rutland and are within walking distance of each other; allows for open boundary area at present for Rutland students but reinstating individual school catchments would assist balancing elementary school enrolment but poses potential disruption for families

Transport students

The option to bus students to the nearest school with space would require additional buses. However, due to the growth in Kelowna area, the nearest middle school with any additional space is located on the Westside and Lake Country. This option not practical due to growth in other areas and availability in other schools is very limited, according to school district staff.

The townhall forum via Zoom can be accessed at https://sd23.zoom.us/j/64139118675.

Public feedback can also be provided at https://my.thoughtexchange.com/626419515.

The considerations up for discussion at the town hall can be accessed at https://drive.google.com/file/d/14LIaVeKC6nQEV9XJPB4jT-IPBzVIk2G0/.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The KLO Community Policing Office is located within the Regional District of Central Okanagan building on KLO Road. (File)
Kelowna council to consider closure of KLO Community Policing Office

Since May 2020, the office has been effectively closed, with duties absorbed into the Kelowna Police Services Building

A Kelowna Chamber of Commerce event in 2017. (Contributed)
Kelowna Chamber announces new board of directors

Directors will be ratified at the annual general meeting on March 23

Mussel inspection sit set up at B.C.-Alberta border. (Contributed)
Okanagan Basin Water Board calls for stronger invasive mussel protection

Letter sets out six recommendations for environment minister George Heyman to consider

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Riverside Centre includes a theatre hosting local plays, visiting musicians and dance troupes. It is also used for community events such as public meetings and fundraisers. Photo Town of Princeton
COVID-19 numbers provided by Interior Health show Salmon Arm and Revelstoke in the 200-plus range from January 2020 to February 2021 while Vernon, with a larger population, tallied more than 600 over the 14 months. (BC Centre for Disease Control map)
14 months of COVID-19 data show Kamloops cases doubling Vernon’s

Jan. 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021: 605 cases reported for Vernon, 243 for Salmon Arm, 1,246 for Kamloops

Penticton Fire Department pulled a kayaker from Okanagan Lake on Wednesday after he had fallen out of his boat and called 911. The man was taken to the hospital for treatment. (Western News - File)
Kayaker rescued from Okanagan Lake after falling in and calling 911

The Penticton Fire Department’s Marine Rescue pulled him out suffering from severe cold

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s general manager Dan Proulx, left, hosted a virtual Official Opposition town hall meeting with Shadow Cabinet Minister Small Business Pat Kelly, right, and North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold March 3, 2021. (Screenshot)
Tourism key to business recovery in North Okanagan-Shuswap: MP

Easing travel restrictions, limiting taxation and debt management critical to COVID-19 economic recovery

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Thomas Kruger-Allen is expected to be sentenced Friday, March 5, 2021.
Sentencing expected Friday for 2019 Penticton beach attack

Defense wants 12 to 18 months for beach assaults that left one of his victims with brain injury

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

Most Read