The current school board continues its legacy of bad decisions. One of the most glaring involves diverting over $2 million of maintenance money for the next two years. Instead of using this money for maintenance of every school in the district, they are funneling it into a single capital improvement project.
This spring, the trustees thought it was a good idea to use AFG (Annual Facilities Grant) money to fund the conversion of Cedar Secondary into a half-filled, half-converted “mega” elementary school. Even their own director of planning and operations said that plan was “problematic.”
Firstly, this money is meant for maintenance, not capital improvements. Secondly, this creates a deferred maintenance problem across the entire district. Most importantly however, this $3-million project is both unnecessary and unwanted.
Most members of the community the school would serve don’t want it.
A less expensive, more desirable option already exists — just two kilometers away — in Woodbank Elementary (a school the board decided to close). Woodbank has excellent playing fields that are eight times larger, it’s already purpose-built, in a much safer location, already has play equipment and has a good FCI (Facilities Condition Index) rating. All it needs are a couple of portables to accommodate the slight increase in student population.
Did the trustees listen to the community, the parents who sat on the school construction committee or consider this option? No.
School trustee elections are Nov. 15. It’s up to us to elect a new school board. One that better represents us and makes superior financial decisions.