Thursday, February 12, 2015

School District gains City support in quest for funding from Port to reopen Westview School building

A late addition to the agenda for Tuesday evenings Council session provided opportunity for City Council to review the flow of communication between the City and School District 52.

The topic came up as part of a request from the School District asking for a letter of support in it's bid to access funding from the Prince Rupert Port Authority's Community Fund.

As part of their review, the Mayor asked the City's CFO Corinne Bomben to outline the nature of their funding request, which is designed to try and access funding in order to reopen the Westview School building.

Further into the discussion Mayor Brain and Councillor Cunningham provided some background to the topic, outlining that the School District would like to consolidate many of its office staffing positions in  a reopened Westview building.

At the present time, School District has a number of staff positions and departments working in buildings spread out across the City.

SD52 has hopes to turn Westview
School into Offices should
they access funding from the Port
Mayor Brain also mentioned that the School District has hopes that with its plans some of the building could be returned to public use and that by returning to the building to an active status, some life would return that neighbourhood of the city.

Councillor Thorkelson had a number of concerns over the larger issues related to closed school buildings.

Observations highlighted by her interest in what the School District might have planned for the buildings that they would be vacating as part of their hoped for consolidation.

On that topic of  Councillor Cunningham advised that it was his understanding that the School District intends to sell those buildings.

The Mayor and Councillor Niesh provided a few more comments on the theme of the closed buildings and the status of their condition and requirements for the School District once they are closed.

Councillor Thorkelson further observed that some of these issues were more complicated than the Mayor and Council might think, offering up the suggestion that the City needs to re-establish links with the School District, looking to have Council meet with School District officials in the future, to learn more about their future plans.

To bring the discussion to an end, Council offered its support to the request for the letter and then outlined plans to seek out further contact with the School District for a meeting to discuss common interests.

The discussion related to the letter request and Council's thoughts on communications with the School District can be reviewed further through the City's Video Archive, it starts at the one hour seven minute mark and continues through until the one hour seventeen minute point.

A full outline on Council developments can be found on our Council Timeline feature.

For background on School District issues see our archive page here, we also have more items related to Council Discussions available on our Council Archive page.

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