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Lumby, Lavington, Whitevale, Coldstream, Vernon & Cherryville

Your Community Newspaper

Lumby, Lavington, Whitevale, Coldstream, Vernon & Cherryville

Your Community Newspaper

Lumby, Lavington, Whitevale, Coldstream, Vernon & Cherryville

What Is The Future Of Whitevale Elementary?

On Thursday, May 2, School District 22 distributed a survey with the question ‘Do you support the School District listing the site of the former Whitevale Elementary School for sale?’ The survey also asked, ‘Do you have any other suggestions for use of the site?’

Whitevale Elementary School closed in 2006. It was located at 423 Whitevale Road, near Lumby.

You can find the form here: https://forms.office.com/r/5gKKUwg4x4

“After three days, as of Monday, May 6th, over 350 responses had been submitted, which is a tremendous amount of engagement. The form remains open until 11:45pm on Tuesday, May 28,” School District 22 Secretary Treasurer Adrian Johnson said.

“People sometimes ask if we have sufficient space at the schools in the area, J.W. Inglis Elementary and Charles Bloom Secondary. We do have sufficient space. Our projections are that enrolment at these schools will gently decline over the next twenty years. That comes as a surprise to people, given the number of young families moving to Lumby and the surrounding area,” Johnson added.

The School District updated the form on May 6th to provide the following background:

“Young families are relocating to the Lumby area. This is not, however, resulting in growing school enrolment. Without that migration, about 63 births a year in the catchment area are needed to keep up J.W. Inglis Elementary’s current enrolment. There were only 45 such births in 2022. This steady stream of young families moving in offsets that shortfall, maintaining the current school age population.

Operating another school in the area would cost money. The School District’s funding is based on enrolment, not the number of schools. If the School District were to reopen Whitevale Elementary without additional enrolment to support it, the extra costs would have to be offset by a reduction in other services across the School District, such as specialist teachers or education assistants.

If the site is better suited as a community centre or similar facility, selling the property could enable a dedicated operator to develop it for community benefit.

The same applies for child care. For example, the School District sold the former West Vernon Elementary School to a child care provider in 2013.”

For more information, please contact:

School District 22 Secretary Treasurer, Adrian Johnson at: AJohnson@sd22.bc.ca

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