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.

Schools

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

Just Posted

Members of the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP paid tribute Saturday to Const. Marc Hovingh of the Ontario Provincial Police, who was killed in a shooting Nov. 19, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP honours fallen Ontario police officer

Const. Marc Hovingh was killed in a shooting on Manitoulin Island, Ont. on Nov. 19

The Armstrong Green Space Society is calling for the preservation of the Royal York Golf Course, which may be in jeopardy pending an application to use the land for a major housing development. (File photo)
Armstrong group calls on council to spare local golf course from housing development

The Armstrong Green Space Society was formed in 2019 after word of the development surfaced

A West Cabs driver is being investigated for an incident which allegedly took place this week. (West Cabs)
West Kelowna cab driver under investigation after altercation over his lack of mask

Passenger alleges cab driver became confrontational when asked about wearing mask

(Pixabay)
‘We need to be empathetic’; Kelowna support worker speaks out after disabled individual denied haircut

Individual with severe autism denied service at a Kelowna hair salon for not wearing mask

Parents are urged to be on alert after a potential child abduction attempt took place near Armstrong Elementary School Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (amsas/neden photo)
Possible child abduction attempt at Armstrong Elementary School prompts warning

A letter from the school’s principal urges parents to be on high alert

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

Supt. Brian Hunter will be presenting first quarter RCMP stats to Penticton city council, tomorrow (April 21). (Phil McLachlan - Western News - File)
South Okanagan RCMP superintendent wants to set up dedicated prolific offender task force

Supt. Brian Hunter plans to use the additional officers city council approved for the force

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COLUMN: Anti-maskers’ message misses the mark

Following COVID-19 restrictions now could determine just how happy our holidays are

The Interior Wildfire Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10-15 acres to house a rehab centre for injured and orphaned wildlife like deer and moose calves. (Black Press file photo)
Okanagan group look for property to house wildlife rehab centre

The Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10 acres for injured/orphaned animals

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

Dentice di Frasso, a member of Italian nobility, once owned land in Summerland. (Contributed)
Italian nobility family once lived in Summerland

Dentice di Frasso and his family owned land in the Prairie Valley area

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read