VSB is preparing a second round (actually this would be about a fourth round over the last 8 years or so) of Education Facilities Review proposals that include a rebuilt grade 9-12 high school at the former National Research Council fuel cell building on 16th avenue(View image), a completely new two in one school for 6-8 (phase one) and k-5 (phase two) at the Acadia Road site, and a reconfiguration of the old elementary into a K-5 school. It’s refreshing change and an inter4esting approach that has a lot of potential.
The new network of schools will have a science/technology focus emphasis within a comprehensive school program. UBC has signed on and there are formal agreements that will link the Faculty of Education. It has the possibility of being a really exciting place and, as a UBC faculty member who son is graduating from U Hill this year, I look forward to being able to develop and maintain relations with U Hill through my research and documentary film unit. With a science/tec focus the role of Indigenous Science and the place of digital technologies in education are two areas that I would love to see developed here.
The earliest opening date for the rebuilt high school is March 2011. This is of note as each time a new proposal turns up the first day of operations for the new school gets pushed back even further. Last spring parents were told the new school would appear in the fall 2010. One has to be an optimist in this area and, as in the past, each new proposal is greeted with the enthusiasm due the promise that a new school will be coming.
The two school Parent Advisory Councils will be holding parent meetings on January 8th at their respective schools. A community meeting is being planned for the week of January 12 at the Old Barn Community Centre (details TBA).
The final proposal is slated to be submitted for approval to the provincial government January 30, 2009.
A summary of the proposal can be foundhere.
Full details are published on the VSB website: Proposed educational framework for UBC family of schools released – News and Media Releases
Hopefully, the UBC schools will be more successful than we have been in the Kootenays. We have a school that has been in the top twelve, that need replacement or renovation, in the province for years. We had to close two schools to “prove” to the province that we are serious about economizing, one was small but full, the other was not full but was the only one in its rural community and was certainly viable. The plan was to begin replacement this year (2008). At this time, our district has not received approval of the proposal, nor have they received disapproval. The latest estimates are that we will be lucky if we can even start the reconstruction before 2012. Apparently, our trustees have been warned by the Minister that, with the recession, things may have to be delayed. And then there is the Olympic debt that is bound to happen. So our district has crammed our schools full, and taken away the centre of one community and we are still stuck with our dilapidated, mouse infested, poorly ventilated wreck of a middle school.