The Coast Mountains school district will be having consultation meetings with the public about its 10-year-plan for vacant and used school buildings in the district.
The consultation meetings will happen first in Hazelton, before moving on to Kitimat and finally Terrace at 7 p.m. at the board of education office on Jan. 24.
“We’re finding that we’re having more and more facilities and less and less kids,” explained Alanna Cameron, secretary treasurer for the Coast Mountains school district.
“We thought it would be good to put together a 10-year plan on which buildings we are never going to use again,” she continued.
The school district plans to bring this plan, which is already available for viewing on its website, to the public to gather feedback. “[We want to] get in touch with people so everyone is onboard with what we are doing,” Cameron said.
In the plan are the considerations to dispose of surplus property, remove old buildings and clean up sites and consider merging Thornhill Primary and Thornhill Elementary into one school. The report looks at the age, and conditions of current school buildings and where they need improvement. It looks at demographics and enrolment projections, which ties into a section on capacity utilization.
The report states that as of September 2010 the capacity utilization for the school district was 60.9 per cent for elementary schools and 62.7 per cent for secondary schools – far below the Ministry of Education’s target of 95 per cent.
As it is, the district is closing Thornhill Junior Secondary this year, shifting those students to Skeena Junior and moving Grade 10 to Caledonia Senior Secondary to better use its existing facilities.