Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick is urging the provincial government to replace Rutland Middle School, which is 72 years old and beginning to crumble.
The school currently has a capacity of 425 students, however last year 570 students enrolled and enrolment continues to increase year-over-year.
“Rutland is constantly growing and developing and we need to make sure we have the appropriate classroom spaces and modern school design to meet this demand,” said Letnick.
“I am working hard to ensure this project remains a top priority for the education minister and this government.”
In November, Central Okanagan school district representatives attended a Rutland Resident Association town hall meeting in an attempt to address concerns around the aging school.
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.
“The facility, being 72 years old, has been succumbing to that pressure,” said Letnick. “There are now 11 portables on the site and 42 per cent of students attend classes in those portables daily.”
Data from the school district indicates it is paying around $850,000 a year in maintenance costs, which over five years will be over $7 million. The latest analysis shows the construction of a new middle school would cost around $38 million.
“I would like to thank SD23 trustees for once again identifying Rutland Middle School as their number one priority,” concluded Letnick.
“Let’s continue to work positively together with the ministry to achieve our dream of a new middle school for the people of Rutland.”