All the work done this summer to bring the GROW/Skyline program back onto School District 27 property has cost a little more than anticipated, says district secretary treasurer Bonnie Roller.
The project was originally expected to cost $45,000 but will come in at about $75,000,” Roller says.
“It is a necessary cost to make the schools what they need to be,” Roller says.
She notes the $75,000 will be recouped in one year of the annual $87,000 lease fee the district was paying a private landlord to accommodate the program.
Last winter, with its lease on the GROW/Skyline centre coming up for renewal and a falling student enrolment putting greater and greater financial constraints on the district, the school board decided not to renew the lease and bring the program back onto school property.
The only place large enough to accommodate the program was the annex at Marie Sharpe elementary, which housed the school’s kindergarten and primary students.
To make room in the annex the board decided, after consultation with and some opposition from parents, to move the French Immersion program from Marie Sharpe to Glendale Elementary School.
Moving the French Immersion program provided enough room at Marie Sharpe to accommodate the elementary students from the annex as well as the new full-day, kindergarten program which will be implemented throughout the district starting in September. Full-day kindergarten started at some schools last year.
Roller says the French Immersion program was moved to Glendale in the first part of July.
Then the work began on renovating the annex to accommodate GROW/Skyline program. Classrooms were also repainted and moved around in the main Marie Sharpe building to accommodate the influx of kindergarten and primary students.
For the most part Roller says all of the moving and renovation work has been done by district maintenance staff.
“It’s just phenomenal how they have co-ordinated and gotten this together,” Roller says.
“On top of everything, they had to get the old GROW/Skyline building in shape to give back to the landlord and prepare a modular classroom for full-day kindergarten program at 150 Mile elementary.”
Roller says completing the move at Marie Sharpe may require a little overtime in the few days left before school starts on Tuesday, but all classrooms will be up and running on time.