KELOWNA, B.C. – More than 230 students from St. Joseph Elementary in Kelowna celebrated Wednesday morning as the first dirt was turned over at the site of their new school.
“It is definitely what we needed and it’s definitely what we deserve,” said Principal Lynn Fleck of the $4.8 million project to replace three aging buildings that house classrooms for students in Kindergarten to Grade 7. “The buildings were definitely getting old. They were starting to leak. They were always safe for the children, we made sure, but there is only so much repair you can do. It was time for something new.”
St. Joseph’s, located on Sutherland Avenue behind Immaculate Conception Church, was begun by the Sisters of Charity from Nova Scotia almost 80 years ago.
Fundraising continues to complete the project for the fall of 2016. Another $1.4 million is needed to finish the facility.
Once complete, the new school will be able to accept more than 100 new students.
In British Columbia, independent schools are not given government money for facilities.
Funding for education is half of what public schools receive per pupil to educate students.
The new school is being built through donations from the community they serve.