Board wants college to lay its cards on the table

The school district wants to know how serious Okanagan College is about buying the former J.L. Jackson school site

  • Feb. 20, 2013 12:00 p.m.

The school district wants to know how serious Okanagan College is about buying the former J.L. Jackson school site — and if they have the money to back it up.

The school board is requesting a meeting with college officials to explore their interest in pursuing the purchase.

The Downtown College Committee has identified the former J.L. Jackson School site as its preferred option for an expanded Okanagan College campus.

The school district has received permission from the Ministry of Education to sell the Jackson property, after various attempts to lease the land were unsuccessful. The timeline for the sale, however, is between April 2013 and March 2014. The land must be purchased for fair market value.

“We need to know if they are interested and if they have the funds. If they don’t have any money then we need to know that too,” said Chris Coers, vice-chair of the board.

A number of conceptual drawings of the proposed college plans have been made, illustrating the possibilities for the site. Members of the DCC also met with John Yap, B.C.’s minister of advanced education, innovation and technology to review the plans last week and lobby for funding. Yap, however, made no commitment from the province at this time to provide the funding for expanding Salmon Arm’s college campus.