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School district to get new digs

Coming down: In preparation for the sale of the former JL Jackson School, the old auto shop was recently demolished. - James Murray/Observer
Coming down: In preparation for the sale of the former JL Jackson School, the old auto shop was recently demolished.
— image credit: James Murray/Observer

Plans for a new School District #83 board office are proceeding for a corner of the former J.L. Jackson school property.

Sterling Olson, secretary-treasurer, said the project has been in the works for many years as the school district has recognized the need for a handicap-accessible, energy efficient, replacement board office.

The district is now one step closer as plans for the building are being formalized.

The building will provide space for the board, education, human resources and finance departments, as well as consolidate a number of activities into one new location.

It will be situated on the southeast corner of the property, near the Downtown Activity Centre and fronting onto Shuswap Street. Completion is expected in late 2015.

The building will house all the departments and services from the existing board office, incorporate the district resource centre currently located in Hillcrest Elementary (freeing up two classrooms to support anticipated enrolment growth in that area from new housing developments), include the training and meeting spaces currently located at the District Education Center, provide space for aboriginal education and student support services, which is currently located at the closed South Canoe School.Space will also be allocated for an early learning program or Strong Start program, which is currently located in the Downtown Activity Centre, to operate in a downtown location.

The current projected building cost is approximately $6 million for the 26,400 square foot building. Funding will be from the school district’s capital funds, which are a separate budget from the schools’ operating budget.

Secretary-treasurer Sterling Olson reports the board has sold the Ashton Creek School and Mt. Ida School properties which had previously been declared surplus to the school district’s needs. Money from these sales can be used towards capital expenses.

“We are pleased that we have been able to dispose of these two properties for a fair and reasonable price.”

The identity of purchasers and the purchase price has not been released by the school district.

The school district has five other properties up for sale including property across from the North Canoe school, the former North Broadview School, the Jackson Annex, vacant land that was formerly used as a bus garage and the remainder of the former JL Jackson school. The school district has recently demolished two buildings on the old JL Jackson site in preparation for sale.

 

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