Rutherford school tops district’s capital project priority list

NANAIMO – Plan to close school rests on ability to secure money from
provincial government.

With no assurances of provincial money for the Rutherford Elementary School closure plan, Nanaimo school district is looking to cover its bases.

The district approved a motion last week that will see the school moved to the top of the priority list in its five-year capital plan for provincial government funding.

The north-end school is in limbo, as trustees voted last year to close it and move students to McGirr, Randerson Ridge or an expanded Frank J. Ney. However, the plan is contingent on Ministry of Education money for the Frank J. Ney expansion and if that isn’t granted, or construction isn’t expected to be finished by September 2018, the decision will be revisited.

Steve Rae, school board chairman, said the district met with Minister of Education Mike Bernier three weeks ago and he was non-committal on money. If money is not granted, the district will upgrade Rutherford.

“It’s not in great shape, so if the school stays open, we’re going to have to spend some money, so basically what we’re trying to do is cover all our bases … we know that if Rutherford stays open, we need to spend money there, so we’re just trying to check all the boxes and try to get financial help on whichever way they go,” said Rae.

It has been 18 months since the closure announcement and the uncertainty has been frustrating, according to Kathy Schneider, Rutherford parent advisory council member.

“This year, I was already trying to decide, do I move [my eight-year-old son] now, because I’d rather do it in Grade 3 than Grade 7. As it stands, they wouldn’t take any out-of-catchment kids at Randerson because it’s full and I didn’t even ask because I felt like the right decision was to stay at Rutherford … but I sure was factoring it in,” Schneider said.

She said her daughter is entering kindergarten next year and there is no use in enrolling her at Rutherford if it will close.

Rae does not know of a timeline for a provincial funding decision, adding the district and ministry are in continual dialogue.

“They haven’t told us no, but they haven’t told us yes either, so in fairness to the people there, we need to try to get a decision, so we can figure out how we’re going to move forward,” said Rae.

Just Posted

Multiple arrests made at Tour de Rock jail-and-bail fundraiser in Nanaimo

Suspects make bail in support of Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock on Wednesday at Woodgrove Centre

Big top set up in north Nanaimo as circus comes to town

American Crown Circus Circo Osorio will be at Woodgrove Centre from Sept. 19-23

Nanaimo area United Way kicks off fundraising campaign

Money raised benefits many, including those affected by opioid crisis

Council adopts whistleblower policy for City of Nanaimo

Policy designed to protect staff members who wish to report potential wrongdoing

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

Nanaimo Search and Rescue to build a long-term base in Harewood

Group will sign 25-year co-management agreement for Fourth Street rec centre

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

Most Read