FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River North School Board will likely be open to forming partnerships with other levels of government or non-governmental organizations to add to the new two-storey elementary school on the City’s northeast side.
School District #60 Superintendent Dave Sloan said that the school district is ecstatic about the June 28th announcement by the government that the district had been approved to receive funding to build the new school, which will have space for 505 Kindergarten to Grade 6 students. The Province said that plans for the new school include a neighbourhood learning centre with child care, before-and-after school care and multi-purpose spaces for community use.
Sloan said that currently, the school board has not yet partnered with the City of Fort St. John about contributing funds toward the school’s construction. The City contributed $2.5 million towards the construction of the new Margaret ‘Ma’ Murray Community School’s gymnasium, which doubles as a community recreation centre. Sloan added that at present, the new school’s gymnasium is planned to be smaller than the gym at ‘Ma’ Murray, but larger than gyms at other elementary schools in the city.
Despite the June announcement not including funding for the operation of a daycare at the new school, Sloan again said that the school board will most likely be open to the possibility of partnering with other organizations in order to allow such a facility to operate.
“At this point, it’s so new that we have no partners to announce. I think it’s not a secret that having a sufficient number of daycare spaces for the community is a concern not just of the school district’s, but right across the community. If there’s an opportunity for us to provide and an opportunity for other organizations to partner with us, this is too good an opportunity to pass up. There’s been a lot of ‘let’s be ready in case this happens’ and now it’s happening. So now it’s a case of translating those aspirational plans into actual plans.”