School District to Make Sure Springwood Elementary ‘Ready to Go’ Come September
Prince George, B.C. – Should trustees vote in favour of reopening Springwood Elementary School in the Hart at tonight’s monthly public board meeting, the school district will be ready for students this September.
That from Prince George School Board chair Tim Bennett and senior administration with School District 57. They met with the media to discuss the possible reopening of the school this afternoon.
“Springwood was closed in 2010 by a Board decision, and like all of our sites, the buildings still have to be maintained,” said Bennett. “There is work that is going to be done by our Facilities Services Department in order to make sure the school is back up and ready to go. The reason this is coming forward tonight, is we know there is some work that needs to be done and we want to make sure our staff has adequate time to deal with the work to ensure that the school is a clean and happy place for students and staff to return to in September.”
Marilyn Marquis-Forster, superintendent of schools, noted they’ve already done some research into the viability of the reopening of the school prior to bringing the recommendation forward.
“Our Facility Services Department is confident that the work that needs to be done in Springwood can be accomplished in this time frame,” she said. “So, Springwood tomorrow is not ready to receive students but we have every confidence that it will be ready to receive students in September.”
Allan Reed, secretary-treasurer with the District, was also asked if the reopening of the school fits within the confines of their budget.
“It’s a good question. Students already enrolled in our system – we have the funding for that – whether they’re enrolled in their current school or in a new school,” he said.
“There are also other mechanisms the government has announced with funding support of the agreement reached with the teachers which we are hopeful will allow us to cover some of the capital costs of bringing the school to a safe and healthy and happy place to learn in.”
Reed also said the provincial government has announced what they call an “overhead allocation” which is to address the additional supports such as added custodial services requirements.
“And we are hopeful we’ll be able to put the case forward that those costs will be covered.”
Should trustees vote in favour of the reopening of the school, Bennett noted a communication plan involving direct contact with affected households will begin “in a matter of days” and that a community information night would also likely be held in the Hart.
The school district will also be ready to answer telephone and email questions once they arise.
Marquis-Forster said 183 students are eligible to come to Springwood and estimates capacity for the school is 180-200 students.