ARMSTRONG, B.C. — Everyone in Armstrong knows it as ‘the brick school’, a nearly century-old elementary school still standing tall in the small community.
The school opened in 1921 and was the first consolidated school in the province.
But with a decline in enrollment throughout the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District, SD83 is looking at all options to slash costs, including potentially closing Armstrong Elementary.
Helen Sidney taught at Armstrong Elementary for 45 years between 1943-1988.
A tree was planted in her honour by the back playground for her years of service.
“It makes me weep,” says Sidney. “I want to be here on the hundredth birthday. This school in 94 now…When it was 90 I was here to celebrate the birthday, cut the cake, blew out the candles. I’m 93-years-old now and my dream is, I want to be there on the 100th birthday.”
The school holds a special place in hundreds of hearts, with a petition to keep it open garnering roughly 700 signatures.
A school board trustee tells Global Okanagan nothing has been decided yet, that all options are still on the table, and that there will be further consultation before any final decision is made.
A school board meeting is being held Tuesday, February 8 in Salmon Arm.
Armstrong residents say the fate of their school will be brought up at that meeting.