Rutland Middle School is starting to show its age and the local school board says it’s time for it to come down.
The fact the school still has its original wooden lockers, built 70 years ago, shows its age. The building is in need of roof repairs and the ventilation system is out of date. The toilets are breaking down and there are none on the second floor.
Trustee Rolli Cacchioni says the school is not even equipped for the disabled.
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“In this particular day and age, with making sure that people with disabilities are treated the same way as everybody else, we have to make sure all of our facilities are accessible to all students,” said Cacchioni.
Ask a student, and they’ll say the biggest problem are the portables. Rutland Middle School has 10 of them.
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Forty per cent of the student population at Rutland Middle School attends class in a portable.
School District 23 requested $40 million to build a new school, but B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming has written back, saying he doesn’t have the money.
In a letter to the school district, Fleming wrote “I know the replacement of Rutland Middle School has been a priority for the Central Okanagan Board of Education for several years. At this time, a capital project for Rutland Middle School is not approved for funding.”
But for Cacchioni and the school board, a flat-out no won’t cut it. And the board will be sending Minister Fleming a stern message.
“It has to be done,” said Cacchioni. “We can’t wait any longer.”
In the meantime, the district will request funding to upgrade the building, with new washrooms being the No. 1 priority.