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School District shifts major asset
A bylaw making way for the sale of Rossland's MacLean Elementary School to the French School District was given first and second reading at the SD No. 20 board meeting on Oct. 21 at Stanley Humphries Secondary School in Castlegar. Relief in relation to the $1 million sale was expressed by board chair Darrel Ganzert as well as by several trustees.
"The selling of MacLean School is a huge step forward for the board," said Ganzert the morning following the meeting. "What it allows us to do is to top up our facilities grant because we used most of last year's and this year's grant to convert Rossland from a high school to a K-9 school. That left the district without much at all. Now we can top that fund up and also look very closely at fixing the water at the Rossland school, at least the drinking water side of things. It gives us a lot of flexibility we didn't have before."
Another property disposition bylaw – concerning the location of school district offices was also given first and second reading on Monday night. This one, regarding the vacating of leased space in the downtown Trail FortisBC building was addressed by Mr. Ganzert on Tuesday morning.
"It's the one thing the public has complained about, and rightly so, for many years," the board chair said. "Now, with our lease running out with Fortis we have the opportunity to leave. We will be moving the board office to the second floor of what is the Trail Middle School. Then we'll be in our own building and not paying the lease rent to anyone."
Dealing with other agenda items, the board agreed unanimously to look at setting up committees to re-name Trail Middle School and Rossland School in order to reflect the changes at the respective institutions.
"It won't be a real large committee," stated Ganzert, "I think, a principal of the school, probably a parent, possibly a teacher and a trustee from that area. They'll make a recommendation. Ultimately it'll be the school board's decision but their recommendation will hold a lot of weight, I would imagine."
Described during a series of reports from the secretary treasurer was an upgrading of the district's telephone system.
With about $150k to be earmarked for the project the board is quite keen on the improvements and eventual cost savings expected with the new arrangement.
"Right now with have a standard (traditional) telephone provider," Ganzert described. "This will give us something that I believe will be more internet-based, where we won't be paying a monthly rent. It amounts to a very sizable saving on an annual basis, after we have spent the money to convert."
Among the other business looked after on Oct. 21 was unanimous approval, in principal, of a Twin Rivers Elementary field trip to San Francisco in late February to participate in Russian Cultural experiences. Such a trip would incur no cost to the school board.