The wheels are in motion to potentially close a school in the Williams Lake area.
Cariboo/Chilcotin School District Superintendent Mark Thiessen confirms that the Board has begun the consultation process for the permanent closure of Wildwood Elementary, which means a decision cannot be made until June 23rd.
A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 16th in the gym at Marie Sharpe Elementary.
Wildwood was temporarily closed last month due to flooding and mould issues.
Thiessen says the cost to fix that problem could be substantial, although he says there are still a lot of unknowns right now…
“The water’s still coming into the crawlspace in the building. To even be able to think too much about remediation of the mould, we need to be able to stop the water flow. The board has to think about it too, once they have that information, how do we carry on with Wildwood Elementary if there’s going to be flooding every year… and part of that is just where the school happens to be located.”
Thiessen says they believe that the minimum amount to remediate the mould would be 550 thousand dollars but he says that number could skyrocket beyond the 2 million dollar mark to prevent future flooding or if other problems are found.
Asked if declining enrollment or funding issues would play a role in the Board’s decision, Thiessen says it likely would and more with the Ministry of Education.
He says there is small enrollment at Wildwood already and there is room in a shool that is only 15 minutes away so the Ministry is unlikely to help them with funding.
Thiessen says the projected enrollment for Wildwood next year is 33 students.
He says they are at Marie Sharpe elementary right now.