Kootenay Lake school district closing Creston Education Centre in 2018

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  • Jul. 12, 2016 12:00 p.m.

The School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) Homelinks program is located in the Creston Education Centre.

A July 5 School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board of education meeting confirmed the obvious, with a bylaw to temporarily close Yahk Elementary School effective on June 30 receiving first and second readings.

With no projected enrolment for September, Yahk school was one of six district schools being considered for closure during a lengthy facilities review process.

Creston Education Centre is now slated for closure in February 2018, which provides time to negotiate the continuation of services offered in the facility.

“The board intends to continue discussions with interested civic and regional governments, as well as other interested parties, that may wish to take on the capital costs of the building from the district in order to maintain community programming — and possible district programming,” according to a news release.

“This is at least an indication that the school district has been listening to our community’s concerns,” said Creston Mayor Ron Toyota.

CEC has housed the Homelinks and Wildflower programs since their inception. Their location in CEC has allowed the Strong Start preschool program to be located in the facility, which in turn has also attracted a number of preschool and family programs operated primarily by Valley Community Services.

Supt. Jeff Jones told the Advance in June that there are no legal barriers to prevent Homelinks and Wildflower remaining in CEC even if the facility is sold by the district.

Also at the June 5 meeting, the board confirmed its acceptance of Rural Education Enhancement Funding to keep Jewett Elementary School and Winlaw Elementary School open for the foreseeable future.

Salmo Elementary School is slated for closure “no later than June 30, 2019” and the board confirmed its intention to build an addition to Salmo Secondary School to accommodate kindergarten-Grade 12 students. The Ministry of Education recently indicated it would make the construction a priority.

An addition to Blewett Elementary School and a renovation to Nelson’s Central Education Centre are planned to accommodate kindergarten-Grade 7 students in what Jones refers to as the Nelson family of schools. As part of the reconfiguration, Trafalgar Middle School will be closed at an undetermined date.

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