The Prince Rupert School District is looking for support in order to consolidate district offices into the former Westview Elementary School building.
Cam McIntyre, secretary-treasurer of the Prince Rupert School District, said there’s currently board office functions taking place in three separate buildings around the district, with administrative offices running out of the Sixth Avenue East board office, the Aboriginal Education Department functioning in Wap Sigatgyet on Ninth Avenue West and student support services running out of the Conrad Elementary School basement, built in the 1940s.
“From an educational perspective, having everyone together means we’ll talk about things more easily and regularly. We think it would have a lot of benefits for the kids because things will happen less in isolation,” he said.
McIntyre added the amalgamation would save money, reducing the number of buildings the district has to heat and allowing for the district to have its own large meeting room instead of having to rent spaces in the community.
It would cost an estimated $1.8 million to complete the work necessary to convert the former school into a suitable board office, with McIntyre adding more work would also need to be done later on.
McIntyre said the district would try to sell the current board office and the Wap Sigatgyet building to cover a good portion of the costs. What would be done with the student support services office is unknown at this time.
The school district has applied for a grant through the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund and, if successful, the district would approach the B.C. Ministry of Education for additional funding.
“There’s absolutely no guarantee this is going to go forward,” said McIntyre, adding there still needs to be discussions with affected district employees on the subject.