SD73 pens letter to minister, asks to expedite land grant application for new Batchelor school

SD73 wants Batchelor land

The Kamloops-Thompson board of education has penned a letter to a provincial minister in an attempt to push through a land grant application that would see a much-needed elementary school built in Batchelor Heights.

In the letter, SD73 appealed to Minister of Education Rachna Singh to assist in expediting their Crown grant application.

“We are requesting your assistance in communicating the urgency to Honourable Minister Cullen in his new role as Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship to expedite the Crown grant application for Batchelor Heights elementary school site,” the letter reads.

The application was previously expedited through the Ministry of Forests last year. The board of education said the new school would help alleviate capacity issues.

SD73 said recent catchment changes on the North Shore, which will come into effect in September, were made to alleviate capacity issues at Westmount elementary, displacing 90 Batchelor Heights students out of Westmount to two non-catchment area schools.

While the application has been sent to Victoria, the Crown grant approval is first required before the Ministry of Eduction and Child Care provides funding for a new school.

”Our board appeals to you for your assistance to make the processing of this Crown grant application a high priority,” the letter states.

“Your support is appreciated and necessary now to help us to expedite the funding approval for the new Batchelor Heights elementary school.”

The school district is slated to open two additional elementary schools in September of 2024 — the rebuilt Parkcrest elementary, as well as the previously shuttered George Hilliard elementary.

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