British Columbia

Campbell River school board closing 2 schools

The Campbell River School Board met twice this week. The first time, they voted to close Discovery Passage Elementary School. At the second meeting, they voted to close Oyster River Elementary School.

Board says both schools had fewer than 70 students and were at less than half capacity

Oyster River Elementary School (pictured) is one of the schools the board voted to close. (Google Streetview)

The Campbell River School District met twice this week and each time voted to close a school.

Discovery Passage Elementary School was the first school the district voted to close.  The following night, the board also voted to close Oyster River Elementary School.

Susan Wilson, the chair of the Campbell River School District, said enrolment at the schools has been declining "quite dramatically" over the past 14 to 15 years and the schools were in need of significant repairs.

"Because of the cutbacks in funding and the fact that there are fewer students, and therefore, less associated funding, it is a matter of looking at maintenance and operation of the facilities as well as providing a balanced budget," she told On The Island host Gregor Craigie.

Wilson says closing the schools will save the district over $900,000 per year; "It will almost cover the costs the ministry is downloading onto the district," she said.

Wilson says both schools were only at about half capacity with fewer than 70 students each. Still, she says the move has left parents "sad and disappointed."

"They care for their schools with a great passion and they care about their children's education. As does the board," she said.

Wilson says the fate of the schools is unknown because they are in varying conditions and are in different areas of the city, so their future purpose will be affected by those factors.

With files from On The Island

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Two school board meetings, two school closures in Campbell River


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