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HomeNews100 Mile HouseSchool District 27 Votes Unamiously to Close Wildwood Elementary

School District 27 Votes Unamiously to Close Wildwood Elementary

Wildwood Elementary School will permanently close following a unanimous decision by School District 27 Trustees Tuesday night.

Cassie Blain, President of the Wildwood PACT says she’s disappointed.

“Our community means a lot to the people in Wildwood and that community spirit is broken.”

“We don’t have faith in what’s happened, we have questions that haven’t been answered.”

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“Although I understand that the Board’s hands are tied in respect to money and parents understand this; we all run our own budgets, I really wonder if there wasn’t another avenue the Board could have looked at to find more funding.”

Chair for the Board for School District 27, Tanya Guenther says getting provincial funding to restore the mold-infested school from groundwater flooding would have been extremely challenging.

She compares it to the replacement of the 100 Mile Elementary School which she says had been at the top of the District’s Capital Plan for over 10 years.

“It’s a larger urban center and has a large number of students.”

“So looking at that if we cannot get funding provincially to replace some of our larger existing facilities, it would be even that more challenging to present a case for Wildwood at this time.”

The estimated cost to restore Wildwood would have been between $550,000 to $2 million plus, which Guenther says could have easily skyrocketed as the District is not 100% certain on what additional repairs would be needed.

“At this point due to the levels of the water and not being aware of where the water is actually coming from, we’re still not able to have a full assessment on the full impacts of that damage.”

“Staff has presented to us that it would a minimum of $25,000 to $50,000 over the course of nearly 12 months to a get a full picture of where the water is coming from and of what the full damage is.”

Guenther says the catchment area of the students attending Wildwood will become part of Marie Sharpe, and families have the option of applying through the school of choice process if they want to consider other schools.

Parent Lauren Mitchell says it will be trying time for her children and herself.

“I sent my kids to this school because it’s a country school, it’s somewhere for our kids to go that they’re comfortable and where they’re happy.”

“For them to come to a school in town with way more students and for them to start going to Marie Sharpe was a huge thing for them.”

“For them to find out their school is completely closed, it’s frustrating to me.”

Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Futcher, says a representative from the School Protection Program will be meeting with the District on Thursday to discuss “disposal” options for the school which will effectively close on July 31st.

Mould was discovered in the crawl space underneath the school’s gymnasium in April.

 

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