SD54 secretary treasurer Dave Margerm answers questions at the public consultation. (Michael Grace-Dacosta photo)

Decision on $1.5 million of community space at new Walnut School

The district also discussed selling property it owned on Fulton Ave at the board meeting

Bulkley Valley School District 54 (SD54) discussed the results of the public consultation on the shared community space at the new Walnut Park Elementary school.

As part of the Province’s commitment to building the new school, it will provide $1.5 million in funding for 486 square metres of a shared community space. The shared community space will be used to provide extra gym space, daycare, community meeting space, a kitchen for community and school use, multipurpose space that can be rented, enhanced foyer, and educational collaboration space, SD54 secretary treasurer Dave Margerm said.

Margerm said these facilities will not all be in one room but instead will be split up and spread throughout the school.

“It’s not like a big gym and you run everything in there. It’s little rooms all over the place,” Margerm said. “The design might have a 20-square-metre kitchen, so that just gets situated where it makes sense.”

These recommendations have been passed on to the architects who will incorporate the school’s design proposals.

Design approval will take place in December or January after which tenders for a contractor will go out, Margerm said.

Construction could begin in April.

Fulton Avenue property sold

SD54 sold property it owned on Fulton Avenue. Margerm said they will not disclose the price or who it was sold to for the privacy of the purchaser.

“The land was surplus to our needs and we could probably use the money elsewhere to support education,” Margerm said.

As previously reported by The Interior News, Coast Mountains School District had to rely on non-certified teachers to fill positions Hazelton and Kitwanga schools this year. Teacher recruitment has not been an issue, SD54 superintendent Chris van der Mark said. The board employs one uncertified teacher who, according to van der Mark, will soon be certified.

“Overall we’re in pretty good shape in that regard,” van der Mark said.

There are around 1,990 students in the district, which is consistent with SD54 projected enrolment numbers for this year van der Mark said.

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