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Penticton  

$19.5M to rebuild burned out school

The provincial government is kicking in an additional $19.5M to complete construction of South Okanagan Secondary School in Oliver.

The school is being rebuilt after much of the original school was destroyed by fire in September.

The school was in the midst of a full renovation and expansion when fire destroyed much of the school in the early morning of September 12 of last year.

The province says a new design will replace the burned section. It will include a new 14-classroom academic wing, a neighbourhood learning centre and 397-seat theatre.

The Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District and Town of Oliver will contribute $2.3M toward construction of the theatre which will be maintained and operated through a joint-use agreement.

The theatre replaces the historic Frank Venables Auditorium that was destroyed in the blaze.

About 60 per cent of the original school, built in 1948, was destroyed in the fire, including the theatre, library, computer room, administration area, classrooms and a renovated neighbourhood learning centre wing.

"I am pleased to announce this new funding to ensure construction of the new school will be completed. I know the school district and ministry staff are working hard to complete construction as quickly as possible," says Education Minister, George Abbott.

"When complete, this brand new high school will provide a vibrant educational and community facility that everyone can be proud of."

​Construction is expected to begin in the spring with completion in the fall of 2013.

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