School district staff met with the village of Port Clements Monday night to talk about the possibility of moving the town’s school into its proposed new multi-purpose building.
Both sides were enthusiastic about the idea, which school board chair Andreas Uttendorfer described as a “win-win” solution, one which could make it affordable for the district to continue operating the small school.
The current school building is 40 years old and needs up to $1-million worth of heating and ventilation upgrades, said secretary-treasurer Andrea deBucy. It is also too big for the number of students, which is now less than 60 and continues to decrease. Heating and utility costs are high due to the empty space and the age of the building, she said.
The ideal solution, both sides agreed, would be to add three classrooms to the multi-purpose building which the town is constructing. The building’s design already includes features like a large gym, a computer room, and a Vancouver Island Regional Library branch. And as mayor Dale Lore pointed out, it is being built in the town’s community park, which has the islands’ best soccer field.
However, Mr. Lore and Ms deBucy agreed it may be a challenge to convince their respective funding agencies to commit money to the project, no matter how much sense it makes, due to government funding rules. The multi-purpose building is also facing a tight timeline, with construction supposed to be complete by the end of March 2006.
“I think there’s agreement on this, it’s just how do we move forward in short order?” Ms deBucy said.
The school district and the village agreed to start exploring the idea with the provincial ministries involved as soon as possible.
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