A Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools trustee finishing his first term hopes to apply the knowledge accrued the past four years for another term.
In addition to sitting at the board table, Greg Keller also chaired the school district’s business committee and said his election platform is based on five tenets: student success; sound facilities planning being key to student success; honouring the land, the place and its people; transparent governance and fiscal responsibility.
Keller said if he is re-elected, some of his top priorities are facilities renewal and upgrading schools so they are better able to withstand a seismic event.
“[Nanaimo District Secondary School], despite it serving the community for almost 70 years now is in desperate need of replacement and so is Ladysmith Intermediate,” he said. “A real opportunity as well that I think is starting to be discussed more at our district … is the seamless before- and after- school care programs and the potential there to create space at the school. [That’s] something that I would be supportive of.”
The district was close to a new NDSS, but plans fell apart. It is a different government and school board now and Keller said he doesn’t think the past will have a bearing on whether funding is granted.
“I think the difference now is we have an NDP government and we have a really good track record of delivering capital projects on time and on budget,” he said. “We have a very interested board now and I’m hopeful that we’ll get trustees elected to the board that continue to support that as the district’s No. 1 capital priority. I think an opportunity exists for us, and myself personally, to be more active in advocating for ND.”
The district is projecting a significant boost in enrolment in the coming years and Keller said the district is taking steps to address this, pointing to the long-range facilities plan. Staff are currently working through capital project requests to try and address needs, he said.
“So come this September, we’ll get our new enrolment numbers and we’ll be revisiting the board’s decision to potentially re-open Rutherford as an option for the north end, but we’re also looking at capacity issues in the south end as well,” said Keller. “Essentially, we’re going to need additions, we’re going to need new facilities, if the enrolment projections pan out the way that we anticipate.”
For more on Keller’s views and goals, go to www.electgregkeller.com.
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