Ashcroft HUB offers everything from recreation programs to theatre at the former Ashcroft elementary. (Photo credit: Jessica Clement)

Communication consultation to start on Ashcroft school disposal

SD74 trustees agreed to start the process, despite requests from Ashcroft HUB Society to delay it.

School District 74 (Gold Trail) will move ahead with a community consultation process around the possible disposal of the Ashcroft Elementary School site.

Trustees agreed at their board meeting Tuesday to start the process, despite requests from the Ashcroft HUB Society to delay it until after the COVD-19 pandemic. The Hub is in its fourth year of a nine-lease of the school site, where it offers everything from community arts, dance and recreation programs to space for reunions, birthdays and retreats and room rentals

“We’re asking if the board would delay until we’re in more certain times to make sure Hub is part of the community for years and years and years to come,” said HUB society chair Juanita Little.

Several letters and emails, as well as a verbal plea from the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society Tuesday, supported the HUB’s request.

However, trustees maintain it is financially prudent to move ahead with the public consultation process, noting they have taken similar measures with other schools across the district. Since 2013, the board has disposed of nine properties across SD74 that are no longer being used for school purposes to allow funding and staffing to be focused on schools that are open. Ashcroft Elementary ceased operating as a school in June 2015.

SD74 secretary-treasurer Lynda Minnabarriet said staff will take the next few days to flesh out the consultation process but noted the board has a variety of options around what to do with the property, including sale and transfer to another party or a lease of 10 years or more, although this will require ministry approval.

“As a local trustee, I do want to see the HUB continue in a sustainable way over the long term,” trustee Carmen Ranta said. “For us as a school board and for me as a trustee, I believe our first priority is education and students. As a board, we need to be equitable across the district and at this time I believe that equity is important to financially maintain the entire school district and district funds and money should be focused on the children that are in our schools.

“I believe we can do a good consultation process and come up with what is hopefully a winning solution for all parties involved.”

Little noted that HUB is already providing a lot of services to students in the Ashcroft area, noting many use Merv’s Fitness for physical education or HUB space for grad photos, teen nights, or babysitting and art programs. She added the HUB has grown significantly over the past five years, making a lot of improvements to the building, and continues to add services, such as a COVID-19 hotline for 20 different agencies that provide food clothing, shelter and wellness from Clinton to Spences Bridge.

READ MORE: Cache Creek, Logan Lake see increases in average property assessments

Trish Schachtel, of the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society, said HUB stepped up last year when her agency saw a quadrupling of both food and users during the pandemic. It not only offered space for food storage but rooms for client meetings and supervised visits, which now require physical distancing.

“I would love a little bit of extension because I’m quite frantic if we’re going to have to start looking for other space,” Schachtel said.

Little added they are already fielding questions from the public who are not getting memberships because of the possibility HUB may shut down.

SD74 Board co-chair Nancy Rempel noted it will likely take a year or two to go through the process and urged HUB to let people know it is still operating.

“It’s not closing tomorrow. This is a process that’s going to take time,” she said. “It’s not a done deal yet. This is the beginning of a very long process. We are just starting a conversation.”

Ashcroft:



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Ashcroft

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

(Pixhere photo)
B.C. dentists argue for COVID-19 vaccine priority after ‘disappointing’ exclusion from plan

Vaccines are essential for dentists as patients cannot wear masks during treatment, argues BCDA

Most Read