Port’s new school ready to go

  • Dec. 24, 2008 6:00 a.m.

When Port Clements elementary school re-opens after the Christmas holidays, students and teachers will walk into brand new classrooms in the village’s just-completed multi-purpose building. The school has received approval to occupy the building despite the fact that the building’s sprinkler system won’t be installed for a couple of months, school district secretary-treasurer Ken Campbell told trustees at their Dec. 16 meeting in Queen Charlotte. The building does have fire alarms, which are the most important feature from a safety standpoint. “This is exciting news,” Mr. Campbell said. “We have received occupational approval… and it is our intent to move into the school over the Christmas break.” The new building is right next to the existing school, and will also house the village office, the public library, the playschool and the seniors’ meeting space. Port students will go back to school Jan. 7, two days later than everyone else, to give staff time for the move. The building is one of the first in BC to house municipal offices and public school classrooms, and Mr. Campbell has already been invited to talk to other districts about the concept. Construction costs did end up about $700,000 more than expected, and that overrun will be split between the village and the school district, Mr. Campbell said. The Ministry of Education has already committed to providing $250,000 of the school district’s $350,000 share, he told trustees, and the other $100,000 will come out of the annual facilities grant. There is no plan as of yet for what to do with the old school building. Mr. Campbell said the original budget included $100,000 for demolition, but that money was spent elsewhere when construction costs started to soar. Trustees, excited to see the new building, voted to change the location of their next public meeting to Port Clements elementary. That meeting will be held the evening of Jan. 20.

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