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SD73 seeking public input regarding future school sites as Kamloops grows

No development scheduled over next 10 years includes Barriere, Clearwater, and Sun Peaks

By Diana Skoglund

Planning for future school sites as the city of Kamloops grows, School District 73 is seeking public input regarding the implementation of a School Site Acquisition Charge (SSAC).

The district is proposing the implementation of a one-time SSAC within the municipal boundaries of the City of Kamloops. The purpose of this charge is to collect funds from new residential development to assist in paying the costs of new school sites which are necessary when constructing new schools to accommodate student populations generate by this new residential development.

The rates are $288 per unit for Single Family dwellings; $259 for Multi Family, Low Density; and $201 for Multi Family, High Density per unit charge. As per regulation, the SSAC would be collected by the City of Kamloops and forwarded to the school district.

“The City of Kamloops continues to grow,” said Rhonda Kershaw, chair of the Board of Education. “Based on what the City of Kamloops has projected in their Official Community Plan, and if development materializes, the district will require a new secondary and a new elementary school in Aberdeen over the next 10 years. These new schools will be in addition to the current capital needs of School District No.73.”

On Monday, Nov. 9, 2020 the board approved a notice of resolution and a recommendation for approval on Nov. 23, 2020 for the SSAC’s to assist in determining eligible school site requirements in the city of Kamloops.

The board is seeking input from the public on the resolution until Nov. 23, 2020. Comments can be submitted to the district’s website @SD73.bc.ca for consideration during the public board of education meeting on Nov. 23, 2020.

The board estimates the SSAC fee can be charged to 8,766 development units constructed in Kamloops over the next 10 years, with the addition of 2,354 more school age children to the school district.

While some of those additional children will be accommodated in existing facilities, the projected growth for the Aberdeen neighborhood of Kamloops will require a secondary school site a minimum of 4.5 hectares in size, and an elementary school site a minimum of 2.5 hectares in size.

Based on current land values in that area, the two new school sites are estimated to cost approximately $7,276,000.

School districts must have SSAC’s in place to receive capital funding from the Ministry of Education for the acquisition of school sites. The City of Kamloops is the only jurisdiction in the Kamloops-Thompson school district that will require new school sites in the next 10 years. Developments in Barriere, Clearwater, Logan Lake, Chase, Westwold, Savona and Sun Peaks are not included.