FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At a recent School District 60 Board meeting, Trustees were presented with the Long Range Facilities Plan.
The 2018-2028 LRFP looks at decisions regarding capital asset management and capital investment, both in terms of facility operations and educational programming. This plan is not an educational study but is a framework to guide the District in rationalizing its long-term facilities usage and to support future capital plan submissions to the Ministry of Education.
In May 2018 School District 60 engaged Cascade Facilities Management Consultants Ltd. to prepare this LRFP.
The LRFP looks at future recommended courses of action which includes the construction of new facilities based on future student enrollment projections.
The plan looks at the need to build a new school in the Northwest of Fort St. John, a new secondary school, a new school in Charlie Lake, and a new school to replace Ecole Central.
Brenda Hooker, Secretary-Treasurer, says the District would like to get the Ministry of Education to approve an expansion in the Northwest.
“We strongly feel that the Northwest Middle School needs to be approved and we would like to get started on that planning for that project once the Ministry gives us the go-ahead for that.”
Also within the LRFP, it includes the conditions of school facilities, excluding the actual site in which the building sits on.
In 2009, the Ministry of Education contracted VFA Inc., a Boston based facility capital planning and asset management company, to complete a facility condition assessment of all schools within the Province.
Each building was rated based on the Facility Condition Index which quickly reflects the condition on a scale of 0 to 1.00.
Out of the 25 buildings assessed, 12 were considered in ‘very poor’ condition, with 10 considered ‘poor’, one in ‘good’ condition, and one in ‘excellent’.
Hooker would like to stress that, contrary to the assessments, the facilities are safe and are welcoming learning environments.
“The numbers that reflected in our plan are the numbers from 2016. Since that time, we have accessed a considerable amount of school enhancement programming funding. So these Facility Condition Indexes reflected here are not up to date and they indicate that a number of our facilities are poor or very poor. We really want to stress that facilities are safe and welcoming learning environments.”
The Board voted in favour of the report and it will now be submitted to the Ministry of Education for final approval.