Atikokan High School to get merged with elementary school

Trustees with the Rainy River District School Board have voted to consolidate the Atikokan High School and North Star Community School.

Declining enrolment, aging buildings to blame

Trustees voted Wednesday night to demolish part of Atikokan High School, and rebuild a K to 12 school on the site. (Google streetview)

Trustees with the Rainy River District School Board have voted to consolidate the Atikokan High School and North Star Community School.

The decision came after a meeting on Wednesday night, after a number of community consultations.

"It's enrolment combined with the fact that Atikokan High School requires a lot of maintenance and upgrading, because it is an older building," said Dianne McCormack, the Chair of the Rainy River District School Board.

"It doesn't make a lot of sense to pour money into a building that's aging and far larger than what we need."

Both North Star Community School and Atikokan High School are undercapacity. The province announced earlier this year it would no longer provide funding for under-utilized schools.

McCormack told CBC News the new school would be built on the same site as the current Atikokan High School, while also keeping some of the components of the building.

"We're going to retain some of the parts of Atikokan High School that are still in good shape and are essential, like Grayson Hall, their large double gym, the shop area, Outers building."

She said North Star Community School would be re-purposed, but there are no definite plans at this point. There have been ideas floated in the community to turn the building into a seniors apartment complex, she said.