Wayne Moore – Mar 31, 2017 / 2:56 pm | Castanet Story: 193259
School District 23 can cross off the top item on its capital project priority list.
The provincial government announced Friday morning it is providing $35.1 million for a new middle school in the Upper Mission.
The district will provide the land, which it purchased in 2013 for $2.05 million, and $1 million during the construction phase.
The school will be located on Frost Road in the rapidly growing area around The Ponds subdivision.
It will house 750 students in Grades 6-8 when it opens in time for the 2019-2020 school year.
“It’s critically important for our future. We are a growing district at over 104 per cent capacity,” said Supt. Kevin Kaardal.
“There is a great deal of pressure in the Okanagan Mission family of schools. This school will help us alleviate that pressure.”
Several years ago, the board of education approved grade configuration for the district, in which elementary schools would house kindergarten to Grade 5, middle school Grades 6-8, and secondary schools Grades 9-12.
Because of space, only Rutland has been able to move to that grade configuration.
“We want to get the Grade 6s out of the elementary schools in the Okanagan Mission area, and that will alleviate the overcrowding we have in some of our elementary schools in the Mission area,” said board chair Moyra Baxter.
The district will meet with a design team next week to begin the process of designing the new three-storey school.
District secretary-treasurer Larry Paul expects construction to begin in the fall.
With this project out of the way, SD23 can now turn its attention to proposed middle schools in Lake Country and Rutland.
Those projects have been given the go ahead by the province to move along in the design phase.