Greg Krywulak considers himself a builder.
The Pemberton father of two has been instrumental in building companies in the past, including as a major partner in software firm iQmetrix. Now, Krywulak is taking on a new project — The Locke Academy in Pemberton.
The new private school project aims to fill the hole left when the Hill Academy announced it would no longer be coming to Pemberton last fall.
When Hill backed out, Krywulak and some other disappointed parents decided to move forward with a private school on their own.
"A lot of work had been done just in kind of figuring out the demographics of the community and the fact that the site has already got educational authorization from the municipality," Krywulak said.
If all goes according to plan, the Locke Academy will offer parents a new choice starting this September. The plan is to start by offering classes to students in Grades 5 through 8 before eventually becoming a high school.
But there's a lot of work to be done before then. The site is not currently serviced and teachers and staff have yet to be hired.
A groundbreaking is scheduled for Sunday, April 26, where attendees can survey the site and learn more about the project.
Krywulak said the Locke Academy will focus on inspiring students and driving engagement.
"I think all kids should have a really independent learning path that they agree to, and it's focused on really what their skills are, what their abilities are, and what they're interested in, all within the same curriculum," he said.
While Krywulak is building and supporting the Locke Academy through the startup process, he says the project isn't about him.
"I have no ownership of anything. I have nothing to gain other than this is the right thing to do," he said. "I'm happy to step aside as the school grows, and once it gets to the point where we do have hundreds of kids and we've got boarding, there's experts and a lot of people that can run that type of school really effectively."
COUNCIL PASSES BUDGET BYLAWS
At the April 21 regular meeting of Pemberton council, council gave first, second and third readings to three bylaws related to its budget.
The 2015-2019 Financial Plan Bylaw, 2015 Tax Rate Bylaw and Sewer Frontage Bylaw all passed all three readings.
Included in the bylaws is a three-per-cent tax increase that will be allocated to the Village of Pemberton's capital reserve for the purpose of road improvements.
The Community Centre Parcel tax has been reduced completely, going from $73.30 per parcel to $0 in 2015.
The sewer frontage rate has increased from $8.16 to $13.59 per metre, for an approximate increase of $81.45 based on 15 metres of frontage.
In a draft document comparing the potential impacts of different tax increases, the three-per-cent increase shows a monthly increase of $10.63, based on average assessment.
"Everybody has a different assessment. It may increase or decrease," CAO Nikki Gilmore said at the meeting.
Councillor Jennie Helmer said she liked that the taxes would be going to road improvements, but doesn't think increases should be an annual occurrence.
"I do think that going forward it's really something that we need to be mindful of," she said. "I'm concerned for our constituents that we're asking every year for them to pay more money."
NEW END DATE FOR ALTERNATE APPROVAL PROCESS
The Village of Pemberton has extended the dates for its Alternate Approval Process (AAP) concerning a $1.2 million loan for a secondary water reservoir. The new deadline for responses will be Monday, June 1 at 4 p.m.
At the April 7 regular meeting of Pemberton council, council voted to move ahead with an AAP to borrow the funds necessary for construction of the new reservoir.
Elector response forms can be picked up at the Village of Pemberton office at 7400 Prospect Street, or downloaded off the Village of Pemberton website.