Replacing Cedar Elementary is one of the top capital project priorities. File photo –Campbell River Mirror

New Cedar Elementary remains priority for Board of Education

School was built in 1958 and is among the district’s buildings in the poorest condition

A new Cedar Elementary School remains at the top of the Board of Education’s wish list.

At more than 60 years old, it’s one of the buildings in the Campbell River School District with the poorest condition, Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Patrick told the board at the virtual school board meeting on June 16.

But the replacement process can take a long time, especially for school districts outside of the South Island, metro Vancouver, or the Okanagan Valley, he said.

The K-5 school has been a funding priority for the board for the past few years and even underwent a seismic mitigation review earlier this year. The review identified required work budgeted at nearly $4 million.

The district said the board had been advised that if a seismic upgrade to the school was deemed an unnecessary investment due to the condition of the building, it would build the district’s case with the province of having the school replaced.

RELATED: Community garden offers learning experience for all

In the district’s 2015-2025 Facility Plan, published in 2015, Cedar Annex and Cedar School have among the poorest condition assessments for all of the district’s buildings. The annex building is located just north of the school and is leased to the Laichwiltach Family Life Society.

The report uses the Facilities Condition Index (FCI) which is a comparative indicator of the relative condition of the buildings. It’s expressed as a percentage of the cost of remedying maintenance deficiencies to the current replacement value. A rating between 0.30 and 0.60 is considered poor, while anything above 0.60 is considered very poor. Cedar Annex receives a score of 0.58, while Cedar School is listed at 0.53.

The enrolment forecast predicts that the school will approach capacity in 2021, meet it in 2022 and be over capacity in 2023 and 2024.

RELATED: A new Cedar Elementary still at top of Campbell River district’s wish list

The board has made presentations to the last two education ministers to advocate for a new building.

“Despite the heroic efforts of our maintenance people, it gets to the point where it’s just very difficult to keep up with the deterioration. This is a place that really needs to be re-done,” said Board Vice-Chair John Kerr. “I’m really hoping that we can get this thing going.”

Their case is also supported by the new strategic plan. Priority two is to “build a culture of learning and wellness” as school environments have an impact on student learning.

“The learning environment definitely has an impact on learning and instruction in the school,” said Patrick.

The third priority is to “honour Indigenous world views and perspectives.”

The district reports that 20 per cent of its student population is Indigenous. At Cedar, approximately half of the students are Indigenous.

“We’re honouring those learners by working very hard to build a facility for them that is built in consultation with Aboriginal Indigenous leaders in Campbell River,” said Board Chair Richard Franklin. “We want to make the new Cedar School a place where everyone is welcome, but especially a place where Indigenous students see this as a place where they feel comfortable and an integral part of the school.”

RELATED: The idea is to get one new, shiny, exciting book into a student’s hands: librarian

Many projects submitted to province

Every year in June, school districts across the province submit their capital plans for the upcoming academic year to the Ministry of Education.

The district can apply under different funding streams including the Seismic Mitigation Program, Expansion Program, School Enhancement Program, Carbon Neutral Capital Program, Playground Equipment Program and the School Bus Replacement Program.

The district’s top two priorities in the Seismic Mitigation Program are Cedar Elementary for a total of $3,820,000 and Cedar Annex at $3,300,000.

Ripple Rock Elementary and Ocean Grove Elementary are listed under the Expansion Program, each for a two-room expansion at $2,200,000 apiece.

The School Maintenance Program is for standard maintenance requests, said Patrick. The district has submitted nine priorities. The top three include Cedar Annex for a $280,000 roof replacement, Penfield Elementary for a $975,000 roof replacement and Carihi Secondary for a $248,000 boiler replacement.

The school district pays a carbon tax to the government every year and receives money back, which helps fund the Carbon Neutral Capital Program. Boiler replacements at Carihi Secondary ($248,000) and Ripple Rock Elementary ($133,000) and replacing building controls at Robron Centre for $289,290 are the three projects listed.

Finally, Georgia Park Elementary and Pinecrest Elementary are included under the Playground Equipment Program for $90,000 playground replacements.

Patrick said the district should know by next April what projects the province approves.

RELATED: Ministry approves three School District 72 capital projects


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Campbell River School District 72

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greg Janicki (left), owner of Dogwood Pet Mart rasied $410 this year for the Campbell River SPCA’s Loonies for Love fundraiser which he presented to Stephanie Arkwright, branch manager of the BCSPCA – Campbell River Community Animal Centre. Photo contributed
Pandemic doesn’t stop annual Loonies for Love SPCA fundraiser

Fundraising has been a bit challenging over the past year, but the… Continue reading

The intersection at Dogwood Street and 13th Avenue, next to the No. 1 Firehall, will see some improvements over the next six weeks or so, according to the city. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Intersection improvements coming to Dogwood and 13th Avenue

Expect delays for up to six weeks once work begins, city says

Oyster River fire has responded to 56 calls so far in 2021. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Department
Oyster River Fire averaged one call per day in busy February

One weekend saw 12 calls for service from crew

The students in the Timberline Musical Theatre program are rehearsing this year’s production, Once Upon a Mattress, three days per week after school in preparation for their upcoming virtual performances. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Timberline Musical Theatre hoping for last minute ticket surge

Popular annual run of shows costs $7,000-$8,000 to put on. They’ve sold $750 in tickets

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. NIC photo
Learn about Practical Nursing opportunities for Island students

Students interested in exploring a future in health care are invited to… Continue reading

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read