The Kamloops Thomspon School Board says a perfect storm has created a provincial crisis as far as classroom space.
District Superintendent Alison Sidow says to meet class size and composition mandates they had to add eight portables and every bit of discretionary space to create 80 classrooms.
“I think the province has been caught. Enrollment creeped up, I don’t think that we predicted it to creep the way it has. I also think that perhaps people didn’t expect class size and composition to be reinstated. And so those two factors, enrollment, and the restoration of that language has created a provincial, I would call, crisis.”
School Board Chair Meghan Wade says the district would have to become a portable city at a cost of over ten-million-dollars to reinstate the classroom space lost.
“That would be on top of, as we look out five years in the growth in this district, to the 35 portables that we just need basically for classrooms and for growth. And of that 35, 4 have already been ordered for this coming school year. So this was the board looking at space that we lost to accommodate the language.”
Complicating matters locally are aging school buildings and a lack of capital investment although the board is hopeful an announcement will come soon on Valleyview Secondary.