Rutland Middle School in Kelowna. (File photo)

Rutland Middle School in Kelowna. (File photo)

Replacing Rutland Middle School still a priority: Central Okanagan School District

Further delay to replace aging middle school disappoints Rutland Middle School parent advisory committee

The Central Okanagan Board of Education has not given up replacing Rutland Middle School.

Board chair Moyra Baxter said school trustees remain committed to pressing the district’s case despite the ministry of education not making it a capital cost priority.

“We’re in a bit of limbo right now as we shift from one government to another after the election, but we will continue to move forward on this,” Baxter said.

Baxter was responding to a letter presented at the Oct. 28 school board meeting from Marie Howell, president of the Rutland Middle School (RMS) parent advisory committee.

Howell voiced his frustration about the ministry confirming the capital spending priorities for the Central Okanagan School District being to find a new school site in the Wilden area and find a site and begin plans for a new Westside Secondary School.

READ MORE: New Westside Secondary top priority for ministry of education

READ MORE: Trustees push again to replace Rutland Middle School

“The ministry of education is failing the students, staff and families of this area of Kelowna by not approving a replacement for RMS….This disappointing decision can only be interpreted as RMS students do not matter to the ministry of education,” Howell wrote.

Baxter responded RMS is “not off the list,” referring to the school district’s Five Year Capital Plan required by the ministry to set spending approvals, noting the Rutland school remains the number one school replacement priority in the school district.

Along with the ministry’s capital spending priority placed on new schools rather than replace existing ones, Baxter added the ministry also cites the seismic upgrade requirements for Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island schools for stretching available capital spending dollars.

“I know (seismic upgrades) are a concern but so is replacing schools,” Baxter noted.

Trustee Norah Bowman said a recent BC School Trustees Association (BCSTA)n meeting she attended passed a series of emergency resolutions, one being for the government to base capital funding for new and expanded schools on a 10-year enrolment projection rather than current enrolment.

Bowman said the concern is the province is constantly lagging behind the need for schools in school districts where enrolment is on a consistent upswing.

She said something has to change when new schools are built and then quickly require portables to meet enrolment demand.

The Central Okanagan School District currently has the second-fastest growth enrolment in the province.

Bowman acknowledged, however, the BCSTA directive would not relate to the situation with RMS because it falls under the replacement school category not included in the resolution.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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

Just Posted

Mamas for Mamas worked with local roaster Tug 6 to create three special blends. (Mamas for Mamas/Contributed)
Kelowna coffee roaster partners with non-profit for specialty blends

Mamas for Mamas has three specialty blends sold from Tug 6

A TacoTime employee hands a customer their order. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Adiós, Taco Tuesday: Kelowna residents flock to TacoTime on restaurant’s final day

‘We don’t need another Starbucks. We need tacos on Tuesday, with extra hot sauce’

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Rutland Senior Secondary School. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Two Rutland schools exposed to COVID-19

Interior Health confirmed exposures at Rutland Senior Secondary and Pearson Road Elementary

Sisters Audrey Cunningham and Donna Erdman, join the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus singing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Okanagan choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

A Falkland man will present a 600+ signature petition to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board Thursday, May 20, opposing dog control in Electoral Area D, which includes Falkland, Silver Creek, Salmon Valley and Ranchero/Deep Creek. (File photo)
600-plus sign Falkland man’s petition against dog control

Similar bylaw rejected by 200 public hearing attendees when topic came up 9 years ago

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

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

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

RCMP. (Black Press File)
Major Crimes called in after two bodies discovered near Penticton

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read