- Originally posted on 5 August, 2017 -
We will soon be hearing more information on the new Okanagan Mission Junior Middle school as construction begins this fall. To recap, however, a press release by the Ministry of Education in the spring of 2017 presented some interesting information that will affect students currently in our elementary grades 4 and under.
The new middle school property is located in the Ponds development area at the corner of Frost Road and Steele Road and will consist of three floors, which according to the image below, the first floor (basement) will house the mechanical room. SD#23 is planning their school curriculum around a September 2019 opening.
Bussing for Kettle Valley students will need to be addressed.
The proposed cost is $36.1M and will provide 750 new student spaces for grades 6 to 8 students and will include a Neighbouring Learning Centre (NLC). The NLC label provides extra funding for design and maintenance of community school programs allowing for exclusive use of designated community rooms. This includes access to the gym on weekends, holidays and outside the regular school year.
Interestingly, our KVN Association tried to obtain a similar category (Community School) for Chute Lake Elementary during its planning stages to no avail. - Len McFarlane
Along with being able to address the specific needs of this student age group of 12 to 15 year olds the new school will also incorporate the space necessary for skills-training and apprenticeship programs.
The completion of this school will provide a big relief for SD#23 in housing students who live in this fast-growing area and allow them to move towards a consistent grade structure throughout the school district.
Discussions for transporting Kettle Valley students to the new school may prove interesting as, according to Google Maps, it would take 58 minutes to walk the 4.4 kms from Quilchena Park for example. Public transit from Main Street Park to the school will require 2 buses and take about 40 minutes, or parents can drive their child to school in 6 minutes.