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Planning under way as concerns grow that Spring Creek Elementary School won’t open on time



Contingency plans are being put in place at Myrtle Philip elementary school as administrators face the very real possibility that the new Spring Creek Elementary won’t open on time.

"We need contingency plans in place in case something goes wrong," said Ron Albertin, Myrtle Philip and Spring Creek principal.

"We have received the updated schedule which indicates that substantial completion will be around Aug. 18.

"Having said that we still have a lot of reservations that it will come about.

"There is no flexibility (with that schedule).

"Everything has to go exactly as it is supposed to, to meet that date. We are quite nervous."

Spring Creek was to open this September for the start of the school year.

Fears over a delay have even prompted the Howe Sound School Board to put forward a motion for the Grade 7s to continue on at Whistler Secondary for the 2003-2004 school year.

With Spring Creek open the plan was to have Grade 7s return to elementary school. They moved to Whistler Secondary because there was no room for them at Myrtle Philip.

But since that is still the case, Albertin told the Myrtle Philip Parent Advisory Council meeting this week, the best choice is to leave them where they are. And moving the Grade 7s from a high school environment back to elementary school really wasn’t an option.

"That just wouldn’t work for them," said Albertin.

Albertin, parents, and other school staff are now working on plans to have kindergarten to Grade 6 classes for both schools running simultaneously at Myrtle Philip.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but one idea would be to have Spring Creek kids and staff use the portables at Myrtle Philip. Then when it is time to move there is little or no disruption to Myrtle Philip and the Spring Creek kids are settled in with their peers and teachers already.

The ministry of education will continue to fund the portables until the new school is operational.

It’s likely, said Albertin, that the Spring Creek kindergarten class will stay inside Myrtle Philip for health and safety reasons.

Under the current boundary plans kids in the village, the Benchlands, White Gold, and Spruce Grove will go to Spring Creek, along with all students south of Blueberry.

This will place 213 students in Grades 1-7 and 30 in kindergarten at Spring Creek. Myrtle Philip will have 254 in Grades 1-7 and 33 in kindergarten.

The Francophone school, with about 65 students, will also move to Spring Creek.