Empty schools are costly to keep

Coast Mountains School District is asking the education ministry for guidance while dealing with empty buildings.

  • Jan. 29, 2012 1:00 p.m.

COAST MOUNTAINS School District trustees are asking the Ministry of Education for guidance on its next move with closed schools and accompanying financial implications.

Several schools are sitting vacant and unused and the district continues to pay for basic upkeep, heating and utilities – money that could be spend on schools that are still open, says Coast Mountains School District board chair Art Erasmus.

“We’d like to have the money we spend on these buildings that keep deteriorating to put into open schools,” said Erasmus last week.

The district has been holding public meetings to discuss what the next steps might be in regards to its vacant buildings.

The next step is to let the public know that the school board has it in mind to sell or lease the schools and use that money instead for schools that are open, Erasmus explained.

“If the public is interested on buying or leasing out the buildings, then the board’s secretary-treasurer, Alanna Cameron, will work with the ministry to tell us how to proceed,” said Erasmus.

“The ministry tells us what the process is by which we can sell or lease long-term the property,” he said.

In Terrace, the district has closed ET Kenney and Kiti K’Shan. Copper Mountain in Thornhill is also closed but there are renters. And, starting this fall, Thornhill Junior Secondary School will be closed.