Community consultations point to re-opening of Westsyde Elementary School

By Chad Klassen
February 11, 2019 - 3:53pm Updated: February 11, 2019 - 6:32pm

KAMLOOPS — School District 73 is moving closer to making a final decision on the fate of the old Westsyde Elementary, and it appears most of the community supports the idea of re-opening the school. 

During community consultations with parents at David Thompson Elementary at the end of January, the Assistant Superintendent in charge of elementary schools Rob Schoen says everything is pointing to the school being resurrected in September. 

"The feedback that we have heard has been unequivocally positive. The parents of the Westsyde community are excited about the idea of Westsye Elementary being open and we're excited about the idea of hopefully making that happen," noted Schoen, who added there would about 170 students at Westsyde Elementary this September if the re-opening is approved. "We just want to make sure we hear from everyone and respond to everyone before the decision is made."

Schoen says it would cost the district $1.2 million, without any funding from the provincial government, in order to upgrade the school that closed down in 2006. While most people are on board with the re-opening, some have had a few questions for the district. 

"There were questions around Grade 7s and whether or not they might be able to have a choice of whether they would want to transfer, or be moved, to Westsyde Elementary or they would want to stay at David Thompson for their final year of elementary school," said Schoen. "But most of the questions were in terms of safety in terms of getting across Westsyde Road should the school open."

Schoen is presenting the community's feedback at the SD 73 Board of Education meeting tonight (Feb. 11). The district is accepting input on Westsyde Elementary School until Feb. 28. A final decision will be made by the school board on Mar. 11. 

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