One school in the north of Fort St. John is already included in the plan, but including a second now helps clearly state what the district wants.
“It’s better for it to be acknowledged in the plan earlier than later,” argues Secretary Treasurer Doug Boyd. “It doesn’t guarantee us approval. All it does is it’s now on our books as clearly stating that we want a school in the northeast and northwest.”
As Boyd explains, the majority of development is already in the northeast of the city, and City Council has identified the need for a new school in that area. However, the developers of a new subdivision in the northwest have also included plans for a school in that region.
“We also know that the large development in the northwest part of the city is going to require a school site, and this would allow us to start the movement towards approval, which then would provide the provisions by land and start the planning process.”
Including the schools in the capital plan does not guarantee their approval by the Ministry of Education. It also does not commit the school district to building them.
The School Board may be able to submit an amended capital plan if the capital planning officers approve it. Reports on the need for each will also be required.
Superintendent Dave Sloan has previously expressed his concerns about the slow rate that new schools are approved by the Ministry, noting the forms for a school site acquisition were submitted more than two years ago, but have yet to be dealt with.
The school district also has plans to replace École Central and Charlie Lake Elementary.