Aging South Kamloops Secondary campus still waiting for replacement

By Adam Donnelly
June 14, 2016 - 4:48pm Updated: June 14, 2016 - 5:32pm

KAMLOOPS — If the South Kamloops Secondary campus were a person, and paid taxes, it would be eligible for an Old Age Security Pension next year. Despite its’ advancing age, the building was passed over for replacement this year, as the Provincial Government announced new schools in North Vancouver and New Westminster. Today, we spoke with some of the stakeholders about SKSS being passed over, and how they hope things will take shape in the years to come.

WATCH: Full report by Adam Donnelly

Built in 1952, South Kamloops Secondary is a building in need of replacement. Its’ gymnasium isn’t big enough to accommodate the entire student population, and the aging electrical system isn’t adequate for the needs of a 21st building.

“Any building that predates the age of computers… There’s a lot of electrical issues [and] connectivity issues,” said Denise Harper, Chair of the SD#73 Board of Education.

Despite the age and condition of the building, School District 73 will have to ‘make do’ for the foreseeable future

Two announcements last week, totalling over $144 Million Dollars for new schools in New Westminster and North Vancouver.

For the Chair of the SKSS Parent Advisory Council, it’s tough to see that kind of money go elsewhere.

“It’s very disappointing that Kamloops was overlooked, once again,” said Don Kitt. “The school district does great things with the money they have, but they need that funding from the provincial government to upgrade schools in the area.”

Last December, Education Minister Mike Bernier was toured through the school. During that tour, Bernier said SKSS wasn’t high on his government’s list of priorities,

Denise Harper thinks the lack of urgency could have something to with the job the district does in keeping their existing facilities up and running.

“If they’re looking at schools that need replacing, and we’ve kept them in such great shape, maybe we are shooting ourselves in the foot,” Harper suggested. “We know how long we have to wait, from the time a capital project is even looked at,” she continued, “We couldn’t possibly, in good conscience, leave the schools in a deteriorating condition.”

So, stakeholders will continue to wait, hopeful the Liberal government makes SKSS a priority.

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