Local opinion on closure of Brennan Creek School

letter to the editor from Tracy Allen RN, BScN, Brennan Creek Rec. Assoc. president

Brennan Creek Elementary School sits on the banks of Adams Lake.  The future of the school will be discussed at a public meeting on Tuesday

Brennan Creek Elementary School sits on the banks of Adams Lake. The future of the school will be discussed at a public meeting on Tuesday

To the editor;

When school started in September this year, three students were expected to go to the Brennan Creek Elementary when it opened its doors.  (Please note; The School District had not given any pressure to our small community of just over 20 locals, to enter more children into the class. This is greatly appreciated.)

Within two days of school starting I found out that the school would be closed because those children were now going to different schools outside of Brennan Creek. This was not much notice to me, or to School District #73.

Personally, I can understand how one might think keeping the school open for so few children seems unfair with the current economic troubles. However, this school has been available to community members of Brennan Creek for three generations, it seems a shame to allow it to just “close” indefinitely.

Then what?

What will become of this “unique” school building and property?

Currently, the main issue with keeping our school running, is the lack of local children in our small logging community who are of age to attend the elementary school.

Rural life for most is not a preferable way to live. But for some; it can be considered living  in paradise. Factor in the rising cost of fuel and unavoidable long distance travel when living rurally; and trying to find the right family to live here over the long term has been a recurring problem.

The company does not hire based on “how many elementary-age children you have”, but it just might have to be in the future if pressure is made on our community to find more children.

Realistically, our local logging company is increasing in size based on demands from the mill, and there are job openings for equipment operators, truck drivers, etc.  It is very possible that one family could help make a difference in our community to allow the school to remain open.

We would LOVE for members in the surrounding area to come and join us, and rally to save our school.

After all, who knows, perhaps your future may depend on it. Children that have passed through this school’s doors have gone on to become teachers, nurses, and doctors. It could be said, in part, thanks to our wonderful one room school on the beautiful Adams Lake.

As a tax payer myself, and a person who is not currently sending my child to the school (I do plan to, but she is not yet of age), to have this building funded by the school district and our tax dollars in the future may seem unfair if you compare this issue to the Barriere Ridge being shut down for similar reasons.  But please, be sensitive to the fact, our community does not receive many other tax funded services apart from the school/bus itself.

For example, a couple of years ago, the Thompson Nicola Regional District removed the dumpsters from Brennan Creek.  We now have to drive to Agate Bay to dump our trash/recycling. It is noticeable that campers do not respect this change; as the roadside is now littered with garbage.

A couple of years prior to this, we had our local mail delivery discontinued being told “roads are not safe for our mail delivery staff”.  That being said, the roads are safe enough for a school bus, and its precious cargo?

Setting these issues aside, as is the local way; I would like to return the focus to our beloved Brennan Creek Elementary School.

Please come and join us, and help us keep Brennan Creek Elementary just that: a school!

A public meeting is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at Brennan Creek Elementary School.

During this meeting I plan to present concerns raised by our community and also suggest possible ideas for use of the building in the meantime.

We would be delighted if you came to share your thoughts and opinions as well.

Tracy Allen RN, BScN, Brennan Creek Rec. Assoc. President