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School closures slated for Castlegar

 Castlegar will not escape unscathed from the school district's (SD 20's) proposed changes as set out in a report delivered at the school board's regular meeting on Monday.

According to the proposed plan, Castlegar Primary School will be closed and re-purposed, Blueberry Creek Community School and the Online Learning Centre will be closed.
Online Learning and Blueberry Creek programming, along with the district resource centre, will be moved to Castlegar Primary, and Twin Rivers Elementary will be reconfigured to house Kindergarten through Grade 7.
Late French Immersion would move to Robson Community School, and itinerant staff would be relocated to Stanley Humphries Secondary School.
The district would then, “dispose of, lease or rent,” the Blueberry Creek and Online Learning facilities.
Finally, the district is proposing a consolidated bus yard in Waneta, “ ... if, and only when,a partner can be found in Castlegar, Blueberry or Genelle for the Castlegar bus yard and wash bays.”
The other school slated for closure within this proposed plan is the Rossland Secondary School.
The plan suggests the bulk of these changes take place in 2012/13 school year, but overall implementation would begin in 2011 and could span over four or five years.
City councillor Kevin Chernoff attended the meeting with fellow councillor Deb McIntosh, and said he's disappointed in the planned closures for Castlegar and Rossland.
“I would hope, at the next school board meeting, when parents are there and asking questions, that I'll get a better sense of what it all means,” he said. “I know closures like Blueberry Creek are a big loss – that's a community hub.”
No schedule for public consultation has yet been released.