Cedar work delayed further

A motion was approved to suspend the completion of conversion work

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District board has voted to further delay Cedar school conversion work.

At a special meeting following the Jan. 14 business committee meeting, a motion was approved to suspend the completion of conversion work at the former Cedar high school to release annual facilities grant money for other school district projects. The motion was introduced at the business meeting by Stephanie Higginson, school board vice-chairwoman.

“We’ll release the [annual facilities grant] funding to other projects because before this project started, there were things waiting,” Higginson said at the business meeting. “This is money that is supposed to be used for maintenance of our schools. We’ve had maintenance issues, we’ve got roofs that are on the verge of leaking etc., etc. Those things we can go back to doing.”

With the exception of CUPE work previously deemed necessary by the board, work on Cedar school that was scheduled for this year will be pushed to 2016.

A 30-day moratorium on conversion work at the school was set to expire. Steve Rae, board chairman, said the motion to extend the moratorium was made Jan. 14, as opposed to the next board meeting on Jan. 28.

Additionally, trustees approved a 90-day consultation period to allow for a full review of the school district’s 10-year facilities plan. Sixty of those days would be used to gather information from stakeholders, and the remaining 30 for review. Following that, the board will make a recommendation on the educational use of the Cedar school and the plan. The process will start by Feb. 9 and end by May 13. The facilities plan, approved by the previous school board, includes the closure of a number of schools, including the one in Cedar, which was slated to be converted to an elementary school.

According to a related district staff report, it would cost approximately $470,000 to re-open the former Cedar Community Secondary School.