Four Nanaimo schools are being considered for possible closure because of shrinking budgets. At the June 10, 2015 SD68 Business Committee meeting, the Board of Education received the Updated Facilities Plan 2015-2021 and ways to save money were identified.
The schools recommended to be closed are:
- Departure Bay Elementary 3004 Departure Bay Road
- North Cedar Intermediate 2215 Gould Road
- Rutherford Elementary 5840 Hammond Bay Road
- Woodlands Secondary 3135 Mexicana Road
February through March this year, the district completed an engagement process called Your Voice 2015, which was to seek feedback on the 10-Year Enhanced Facilities for Learning Plan and the 2015-16 budget. Those that participated identified school closures and consolidations as a key priority for the district to undertake.
The final decision to close schools will be based on a review of several factors, including: school enrolment data; enrolment trends and projections; maintenance costs, facility conditions and an assessment of whether neighbouring schools can accommodate the students.
This summer, district staff plan to analyze each school on the list and prepare a report of findings to be delivered to trustees by late August or early September.
The proposed school closures are by no means final according to the SD68 public letter to parents. The public consultation phase begins in the fall sometime.
Increased Congestion in Neighbourhoods
How will these school closures affect congestion? Many parents drive to and from school 4 times a day; making up a significant portion of the traffic on our roadways. The reasons offered by parents for driving their children to school are convenience, safety of neighbourhoods, and the lack of sidewalks.
Closing more schools will only increase traffic congestion along residential roads which were not designed to handle this high volume of traffic.
Infrastructure improvements will cost taxpayers more than the savings of closing these schools.
Has anyone at the school district considered a walking school bus?
Feds waste money
For the same amount of taxpayers’ money expected to be saved with the closure of these four schools, $1.1 million, the federal government spent on posters for the G8 and G20 Summits in 2010.
Imagine if that money could have been passed on to the schools of Nanaimo. Look at the map and see all the schools that have closed in BC.
How will the country prepare for the future?