Nanaimo trustees give green light to re-open Cedar as a secondary school

NANAIMO – The school board voted to have the school open for secondary school students by 2016.

The Nanaimo district school board has given the green light for the re-opening of Cedar secondary school in time for the 2016 school year.

The school was closed in 2014 and slated to be converted to an elementary school as part of the 10-year facilities for learning plan. Trustees Jamie Brennan, Bill Robinson and Tania Brzovic were the dissenting votes.

A motion instructing staff to review and provide framework for a revised facilities plan by June 30 was proposed by trustee Jeff Solomon and also approved.

Brzovic said she wanted to support the motion, but concerns with the “2016 piece” and establishing a Grade 8-12  configuration made it impossible for her to support it. She said the board was doing things backwards.

“If it were more broadly open, if you wanted to get the building ready, so it could be open in 2016 and then we did work of [Solomon’s motion] then we could have a more wholesome conversation of what the facilities plan would then look like. I can’t vote on one piece to change the facilities plan without seeing the whole picture,” said Brzovic.

Stephanie Higginson, board vice-chairwoman, said the grade makeup wasn’t set in stone.

“The grade configuration that you mentioned, I view that as a guideline for the staff to investigate … We don’t know what the best configuration is so we’re leaving it wide open for them to come and tell us what the best configuration is within these parameters,” said Higginson.

A business committee recommendation to provide busing for Cinnabar and Cedar-area students to Ladysmith Secondary School for 2015-16 was also approved.