The School District 20 Board is considering disposing of the former Blueberry Creek Community School building and site.
The building has not served as a school since 2002. As part of the process they will be holding a public consultation meeting on Monday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the gymnasium of the school. At the meeting, the board will explain the process they will follow for the potential disposal.
They will also share some of the possibilities they are considering. The Board’s intention is to receive input from the community on these options and listen for potential use suggestions. The final decision will be made at a future meeting.
One option will be presented by the Blueberry Creek Community School Council Board (BCCS). This is the organization that is currently operating the facility. The non-profit charitable organization currently leases the building from SD 20 and is responsible for the finances, maintenance and operation of the site.
They believe they have developed a sustainable operational model and business plan. BCCS has the financial capacity to continue operations, but does not have the capital for a fair market value purchase of the facility.
The proposal calls for the sale of the facility to BCCS for the sum of $1. They then would continue to provide the educational, childcare, social and recreational services that they are currently providing.
BCCS Community liaison Rebecca McDonald stated, “We do believe that our society has both the capacity and the public backing to continue to operate this facility aNd we think it is in the best interest of our community to do so.”
BCCS is collecting signatures in order to show the community support behind their proposal. If you would like to sign the petition, copies can be found at the school itself, The Brick, Canadian Tire, BMO, Kootenay Savings, KalTire and other locations around town.
At least one School Board member has weighed in in favor of the proposal. Mickey Kinakin stated, ”A loss of that many seats for daycare and early education is huge. The school district will gain by partnering and working with the community and that is the kind of model we should be developing.”