New school funding for West Kelowna

While declining birthrates are forcing school closures around the province, a neighbourhood in West Kelowna is bucking the trend.

  • Nov. 1, 2011 6:00 a.m.

While declining birthrates are forcing school closures and teacher layoffs around the province, a neighbourhood in West Kelowna is bucking the trend.

Monday afternoon, parents, teachers and administrators in the Shannon Lake and Rose Valley neighbourhoods of West Kelowna learned the province will alot a portion of a new $353 million capital projects plan toward a new school for the area.

“There are school districts in our province that have experienced tremendous student enrolment growth in recent years, and are in need of funds to expand current schools or build new ones. That’s why we are taking action today,” Premier Christy Clark said at a press conference held in Surrey. “This investment will also create more jobs, which is great news for B.C. families.”

For the families in Rose Valley  in particular, the announcement will also spell relief for a school campus described as “quite frankly at capacity” by the superintendent of schools Hugh Gloster.

“This is wonderful news and I think it’s a tribute to the hard work that’s been done by our board of education and local MLAs,” said Gloster.

Shannon Lake Elementary just opened an eight classroom edition, largely funded to make room for full-day kindergarten; but Rose Valley Elementary is surviving off portables with expectations both neighbourhoods will continue to grow.

A property on Rosewood Drive has already been purchased by the school district to build the new facility and board of education chairman Rolli Cacchioni said trustees want to strike a funding partnership with the District of West Kelowna to secure backing for community elements, like a classroom that might remain open on weekends for the sports teams making use of the fields.

Partnering with the community will be equally important in Kelowna where, according to Clark’s Monday announcement, an addition for Okanagan Mission Secondary School will also be built.

“Originally, when it was built, it was built for 500 students and it’s now over 1,000,” said Cacchioni.

The school’s expansion will likely include classroom space, a science lab and might also see a theatre added with community use worked into the schedule.

“It’s going to be a very good addition for our school and it’s just great news for the mission community,” said OKM principal Scott Mclean.

OKM currently has 1,065 students overflowing into portables placed around the main building footprint.

“We have tremendous growth in schools in the Mission but in particular here at OKM,” said Mclean, alluding to new developments in areas like Kettle Valley and Crawford.

The school district purchased a lot directly adjacent to the school a couple of years ago and Maclean said he believes planning for the addition will begin shortly.



Just Posted

Kelowna asking court to shut down pot shops

City seeking injunction to stop five marijuana dispensaries from operating

Traci Genereaux remembered at Vernon vigil

Family and friends remember Genereaux as a “fiery red-head with the best sense of humour”

UPDATED: Body found in burnt Kelowna home

“Firefighters later updated police that a body had been discovered inside the home. “

Angler fined for over-fishing on Gardom Lake

It was an expensive fishing trip for an Okanagan man this weekend.… Continue reading

NDP’s Shelley Cook to try again in Kelowna West

After losing to Christy Clark in May, Cook will vie for the seat again when a byelection is called

Tattooing couple opens new shop in Lake Country

Cody and Fabiana Philpott opened NSI Tattoo in August

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Fintry Queen still looking for a home

Fintry Queen owner wants the tourist vessel in the Penticton Parks and Rec master plan discussions

Major grant bolsters Penticton doctors research on pain

Local research team is headed by Penticton rheumatologist

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

B.C. boy’s social media bid to get levidrome in the Oxford dictionary goes viral

‘It’s been five weeks and has totally blown up today.’

Whistler venues could see 2026 Olympic action

Calgary is looking to cut down on costs

Most Read