Wednesday, 30 January 2013 15:59

Fairview School undergoing some renovations

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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While Chinook School Division is still committed to its decision to make Fairview School a single-stream K-8 school, they are still waiting on approval from the Government of Saskatchewan’s department of education before they are able to continue with their required renovations.

“I’ve been told that it’s still under review within the ministry, and that is the only information that they were comfortable with me sharing with the board at this time,” explained Director of Education Liam Choo-Foo. “We’re in a bit of a holding pattern right now, but we are still working closely with the Ministry to get this project moving forward.”
The division has had an architect work up conceptual plans around their proposed renovations, but until they have had the opportunity to speak with the staff about the design, they will not be releasing anything to the public.
“We know there are deficiencies with the washrooms for the projected 310 students that will be attending in the fall of 2014, so creating extra space is a huge priority,” Choo-Foo noted. “We want to create a bigger crush area for the kids, and of course, we will need more classroom space.”
While the perfect scenario would have had the newly-renovated Fairview School opening at the same time as the doors opened to the brand-new École Centennial School, Choo-Foo admitted that is probably not going to be a reality. He now hopes the school will be ready in December 2014.
“As it sits, the school will not be able to house the projected 310 students in the fall of 2014, so we will be looking at some alternate plans,” he said. “One thing we do know is that we still have roughly 18 months to look at that and sort through our options. These are things that will get us through an overlap period (short term), but are not viable solutions for the long term.”
Although the funding for the project has not been prioritized by the ministry, Chinook’s board made a strong commitment that Fairview School would become a K-8. Through significant consultation with the community, it was strongly recommended that with the closing of Oman School, the division needed to provide K-8 education of Swift Current’s south side.
“When we knew this project was not going to get funded in the immediate future, the board directed the senior administration to work with the ministry to look at some out of the box ways of getting this done,” Choo-Foo said. “We are in contact with the ministry on a weekly basis about this project, and I am looking forward to some face-to-face discussion over the next week or so.”

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