With the new high school in West Kelowna now funded, the Central Okanagan School District has a new item at the top of its wish list.
Every summer school district’s across B.C. submit their funding requests for capital projects to the provincial government. Projects can spend years and years on the wish lists before getting funded.
Next week, school trustees at committee will consider the 2023/24 five-year capital plan.
A new middle/secondary school in Glenmore is priority number one in the new school program. That would cost an estimated $85 million. The school system in Glenmore has been operating way over capacity for years now, pressured by the neighbourhood’s explosive growth.
Rutland Middle School remains the number one priority for the school replacement program. The school district wants to build a new middle school on the Quigley Elementary property at a rough cost of $50 million. The school district has been seeking funding for the project for about 15 years.
The school district’s desire to purchase land for a new school in the University neighbourhood is priority number one of the acquisition program and priority number two for the new schools program.
The school district suggests land acquisition could cost upwards of $20 million while a new middle school would cost $60 million to build.
Other proposed projects include construction of a new elementary school in Wilden, at an estimated $40 million. The province approved land acquisition for the Union Road site last year.
School additions are also proposed at several other schools to replace portable classrooms.
The provincial government says it funds capital projects based on priority. In recent years, B.C. has been forced to spend large sums on seismic upgrades at aging schools in the Lower Mainland.