Kamloops-Thompson school district preparing to prioritize capital projects

The board is expected to vote on the list on Monday with priorities separated into categories this year as per a new Ministry of Education format. Those categories include new buildings, expansions and replacement schools

The Kamloops-Thompson school board is expected to approve a list of capital funding priorities to forward to the provincial government.

The board is expected to vote on the list on Monday with priorities separated into categories this year as per a new Ministry of Education format.

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Those categories include new buildings, expansions and replacement schools, said board chair Kathleen Karpuk.

She couldn’t, however, specify what the top priorities will be until the list is approved.

SD73’s long-range facilities report identified a number of capital needs to address overcrowded schools and increasing enrolment that are likely to be on the list.

An addition to Westmount elementary, new schools in Pineview Valley and Sun Peaks and an addition to South Kamloops secondary for a new gym and classes are among the top priorities identified in the report.

“The ones that were previously identified as concerns are still concerns,” Karpuk said, noting the list will specify what category each need fits into and which will come first.

Karpuk said she doesn’t believe the list identifies any replacement of schools as urgent priorities.

“We go by the condition of the school, as well as the population projections,” Karpuk said.

“And then we have to look at what is our best bet of actually getting funding for this.”

About half of the schools in the district will require replacement within the next 20 years, according to the facilities report.

The No. 1 priority identified in the facilities report — a $34-million expansion of Valleyview secondary, announced in April by Education Minister Rob Fleming — has already been checked off that list.

The province, however, has not committed to any other immediate funding announcements for the Kamloops-Thompson school district.

“They haven’t given us any indication, other than the fact they’d like to give us more money,” Karpuk said.

“I’m sure they’ve made that indication in every single district they’ve been to.”

The deadline for the school district to submit its priority list to the provincial government is June 30.

© Kamloops This Week

 


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