The Independent Staff
The report put together to determine which public schools could rent out space shows just how much work needs to be done in local schools.
The Lambton-Kent District School Board prepared the 2016 Capital Report to figure out just which schools have space available which could be rented out. Part of that investigation included just how much money needs to be spent in local schools over the next five to 10 years. And Petrolia’s high school needs some extensive work.
The board’s five year capital plan shows LCCVI, with a student population of 780, uses only 67 per cent of its space. This year, the board closed off seven of the 52 classrooms to save money.
Over the next five years, the board expects to see growth in Petrolia saying the student population should increase to 812 students. In the past, the board has considered high schools with more than 400 students viable.
The board is also projecting the Petrolia school will need $17.2 million in renovations over the next ten years to bring LCCVI back to the highest standard.
But Board Chair, Jane Bryce, admits it is unlikely the board would ever be able to inject that much cash into one school.
“It’s like your own home. You say ‘I would like to refresh and make that room look better’ but when you get an estimate to do all four or all six rooms, you say ‘I’m going to do one room.’”
Bryce says the board completes the formulas which show how much money it would take to completely renew a school and then submits it to the Ministry of Education. “They come back and say we have X million dollars for you; the board looks at the capital needs and says where can we place that,” she says. “You try to do as much as you can with the dollars you have and be as fair as you can – as equitable as you can.”
According to the LKDSB’s 2016 Capital Report, most local schools need a cash injection to bring them to the highest standards. Here is what is projected five year needs for some of the area schools:
Aberarder $2.2 million
Brigden Public $3.5 million
Brooke Central $2.5 million
Confederation $2.7 million
Dawn-Euphemia $.2.02 million
East Lambton (Watford) $4.6 million
LCCVI $16.7 million
Lambton Centennial $2.4 million
Mooretown-Courtright $4 million
North Lambton Secondary $10 million
Queen Elizabeth Petrolia $4.7 million
Hillcrest $1.9 million
Wyoming Public $2.2 million