Rutland Middle School is located at 715 Rutland Road North in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)

Rutland Middle School is located at 715 Rutland Road North in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)

New SD23 capital plan suggests replacing Rutland Middle School

Costs to expand the school are higher than expected and would be better utilized on a new building

The aging infrastructure of Rutland Middle School has long been the subject of Kelowna parents’ concern.

While the school was slotted for an expansion in the School District 23 2020/2021 capital plan, officials seem to have had a change of heart, instead proposing the school be entirely rebuilt.

According to the district’s first draft of the 2021/2022 capital plan, cost projections to renovate and expand the 71-year-old school came in higher than expected and district staff are now recommending the school board move RMS to the School Replacement Program due to the age of the school and maintenance costs.

School officials also mentioned increasing the size of the school would limit any future growth potential.

The proposed rebuild will cost the district nearly $45 million.

And, that’s not the only substantial price tag shown in the draft capital plan.

A new high school in West Kelowna remains the district’s top priority. That facility, dubbed Westside Secondary School, will cost an estimated $120 million.

A new elementary in the Wilden area and a replacement of Glenmore Elementary are also proposed, each coming with $40 million cost.

The finalized capital plan must be submitted to the provincial government by the end of June. Actual funding is ultimately decided by the Ministry of Education.

Trustees will hear more on the draft capital plan when it’s presented on May 6.

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