Parents and students at a Courtenay elementary school got the news they’d been hoping for tonight
The school board will not be shutting down Ecole Puntledge Park despite struggling with a hefty budget deficit.
The board voted 5-1 against closing the school that had become a lightning rod issue for parents of children who attend the school.
“I am so happy, my kindergartener will go to Puntledge Park next year. We moved into the area in September, last September and he’ll be so pleased, and I’m pleased.” said one parent tonight.
The students would have been moved to nearby Lake Trail Middle School which would have required extensive renovations.
The board is trying to cover a 2.4-million dollar shortfall projected for the 2016-2017 school year and closing Puntledge would have saved 700-thousand a year.
“It’s not an easy decision to make to keep the school from closing because it has the ramifications for our district,” said Board chair Tom Weber
“there are consequences to the decisions that we make and ultimately the public will hold us accountable for those as well.”
But in the end, trustees felt it was the wrong move, much to the delight of parents who filled the district board room.
“It kind of proves that if you get enough people together and if you’re really passionate about something you believe in then the right thing happens in the end.” said another parent.
Meanwhile, the Campbell River School Board voted unanimously tonight to close Discovery Passage elementary in Campbell River
The 57-year old facility was in need of significant repairs.
Students attending Discovery Passage will now attend Ripple Rock Elementary beginning in September.
The Board will vote tomorrow on whether or not Oyster River Elementary will also close.