The former Ashcroft Elementary School building, which closed as a school in 2015 and is now operated as the Ashcroft HUB, pictured during Skip’s Run in June 2017. School District No. 74, which still owns the property, will discuss the disposal process regarding the site at the Jan. 5, 2021 regular board meeting. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

The former Ashcroft Elementary School building, which closed as a school in 2015 and is now operated as the Ashcroft HUB, pictured during Skip’s Run in June 2017. School District No. 74, which still owns the property, will discuss the disposal process regarding the site at the Jan. 5, 2021 regular board meeting. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

School district to look at disposal process for Ashcroft Elementary

News comes as surprise to HUB Society, which has occupied the site since 2015

At its next meeting, the board of trustees of School District No. 74 (Gold Trail) will be discussing the process surrounding the disposal of the former Ashcroft Elementary School property, which has been operating as the Ashcroft HUB since August 2015.

Item 7.8 on the Jan. 5 regular meeting agenda is “Property Disposal Process–former Ashcroft Elementary School”. Background information notes that the board of SD74 has, over the last several years, reviewed surplus properties that are no longer required for educational purposes and disposed of properties to allow funding and staffing to be focused on schools that are open. Since 2013, nine properties have been disposed of.

SD74 secretary-treasurer Lynda Minnabarriet says that every year the board goes through a process of looking at properties that are no longer being used for school purposes.

“We’ve done this for many years. We have a three-year plan around what happens in the district around disposal, to make sure that resources are going to support school programs. Ashcroft Elementary hasn’t been used for several years as a school, so it was added to the plan last year to start the process in this school year.”

Ashcroft Elementary ceased operating as a school in June 2015. In August of that year a group of volunteers representing what they called the Ashcroft HUB announced plans to turn the building into a multi-purpose centre for community user groups, to avoid the prospect of a derelict building and to provide services for the community.

“Closed schools devalue the neighbourhood and are targets for vandalism,” Ashcroft HUB Society president Juanita Little told Ashcroft council at their meeting on Aug. 24, 2015. “By repurposing AES immediately, the community can avoid the pitfalls of an abandoned building.” She said that the mandate of the HUB was “to keep the doors of the building open, to provide accessible, affordable space for clubs, groups and small entrepreneurs, and support programming or events that build social connectedness through opportunities in wellness, recreation and the arts.”

READ MORE: Ashcroft HUB hoping to turn AES into centre for local user groups

Little says that the society initially signed a one-year lease agreement with SD74, with the HUB responsible for heating and electricity costs, as well as snow removal, while SD74 would maintain the grounds.

“We wanted to focus [in the first year] on where do we go and how do we do that. We needed to be viable and get up and running, then see if we were able to do more moving forward with the building.”

The HUB and SD74 are currently in the middle of a nine-year lease agreement. Over the last five years the society has carried out many improvements to the interior and exterior of the building, including new doors and lighting, painting, landscaping, and changes to various rooms to accommodate a daycare, fitness and dance classes, a full-service gym, musicians, non-profit and community organizations, entrepreneurs, and more.

Little says that they had no idea the district would be considering the site’s future until the society received a phone call from the SD74 office on Dec. 10, and were told that the disposal process for the former elementary school was going to be on the agenda for the Jan. 5 open meeting.

“We knew this conversation would come one day; we’re just a bit surprised that it’s coming now,” she says. “They didn’t say why it was coming up at this time, just that there are processes and they wanted to make us aware the item was on the agenda. My understanding is that the board may choose to dispose of it or not, and that no decisions have been made yet.”

The recommendation is that the Board of Education approve proceeding with a community consultation process on the possible disposal of the former Ashcroft Elementary School. Minnabarriet says that the discussion on Jan. 5 will be the first one the board has had about the property since the decision last year to look at it in the 2020/21 school year.

She adds there “absolutely” could be a discussion about the COVID-19 pandemic and its stresses, the difficulty of holding public meetings at this time, and whether it is the right time to proceed with the disposal process. “We’re there for a discussion about next steps.”

The report in the agenda for the Jan. 5 meeting says that process would include hearing from local communities on the potential disposal. “It is recommended that the Board meet with local Indigenous communities and municipalities and hold a public meeting to gather input on this topic,” states the report.

It continues “It is likely that the meetings would occur via Zoom. A process to allow for written feedback to be submitted would also be available. The Board would then consider the community input when determining next steps in the disposal process. Approval from the Ministry of Education is required before the property can be disposed of or sold.”

“The HUB board has asked SD74 to postpone the discussion,” says Little. “Times are uncertain and discouraging for organizations, individuals, and communities, so we’re asking them to postpone this until we’re living in more certain and hopeful times so we can see what moving forward looks like.

“Everyone is struggling right now. We’re in the middle of a pandemic and public consultation is hard, because we’re asked not to meet or group together. It’s one more stress for the whole community, so can we delay this until it’s a better time for everyone to move forward in a better way.”

Little assures the community that the HUB will continue to provide its regular services for users while discussing options for the long term. More than 20 organizations and businesses are active with the HUB, which provides services for seniors, teen and kids’ day camps and activities, education workshops, certificate courses through Thompson Rivers University, fine arts, theatre, community events, the HUB Online Network, and a full range of wellness and health services, including fitness classes, zumba, yoga, dance, fitness support, and Merv’s Gym.

“We also have our Community Connections, which focuses on isolated and vulnerable people in our community. That’s really ramped up with COVID-19.”

Little adds that the HUB Society works well with the school district. “It’s been a good relationship, and we look forward to continuing to work with the district to keep the HUB operating. They could choose to continue with the disposal process or could choose not to. If it moves toward disposal then we will be looking for public input.”

Minnabarriet says that if/when the district moves forward with disposal, there are a variety of things the board could do with the property.

“Over the years we’ve done different things. Sometimes we’ve disposed of properties for mimimal amounts, sometimes for fair market value. There are many different factors, and there’s no cookie cutter approach. We look at things individually.

“No decision [about AES] has been made in advance; it’s just a process we’ve had in place for many years about closed schools. It’s such an unusual time, so the board has to consider what makes sense at this time.”

Little says that the HUB wants to continue a long time into the future and continue being a HUB for the community.

“The HUB exists because of community support, and we strongly encourage the community to actively reach out to our trustees to show your support for the HUB. Prior to the meeting, people, organizations, and user groups can send letters of support for the HUB via email or mail to trustees (please cc, attend the board meeting on Jan. 5 via Zoom, and participate in community consultations should they arise.”

The Jan. 5 board meeting will start at 2 p.m., and members of the public can join the webinar by going to (passcode 543064). You can also join by phone by dialling 1-778-907-2071 (webinar ID 689 5385 4523; passcode: 543064).

If a member of the public has a question(s) on a specific item of the agenda, they can contact secretary-treasurer Lynda Minnabarriet at by 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 5, or through the chat feature prior to the start of the meeting. A question period will also be available at the end of the board meeting.

The names and contact information for the SD74 board of education trustees can be found at The agenda for the Jan. 5 meeting can be viewed at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual Internet speeds in BC communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

Fireworks are among the things now banned throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, as the weather heats up and a dry summer looms. (Photo credit: Black Press files)
Category 2 and 3 open fires, fireworks now banned in Kamloops Fire Centre

Ban on certain types of fires and fire activities in place until Oct. 15

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact they recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Phil McLachlan/(Black Press Media
Man shot at Kamloops shopping centre

The man is believed to be in stable condition

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Most Read