SD73 Board of Education’s Pineview Valley Engagement Committee Feedback on Draft Plans for New School in Pineview Valley

Posted On Tuesday August 29, 2023

Board Chair, Heather Grieve

The Kamloops-Thompson Board of Education has advocated for a new school in Pineview Valley due to notable enrolment growth and space pressures in schools in the south west sector of Kamloops.

On February 22, 2023, the Ministry of Education and Child Care announced funding for a new school in Pineview Valley. At that time, the Board had been working with the McGowan Future Growth Planning Committee to problem solve what could be done if space pressures continued in that school (160% capacity utilization).

The Board of Education is looking forward to the much-needed opportunity to have families experience the opening of this new school in 2026. We are especially excited about this unique location because it is located by Python Lake which is known for its natural beauty, protected species (Painted Turtle), and varied plants (mariposa lilies, yarrow, and giant wildrye) and animals (a variety of butterflies, songbirds, and ducks, as well as deer and many small mammals). This location opens up so many opportunities for land-based learning and outdoor education, and we are excited to be part of the development of this school.

The Board initiated the Pineview Valley Community Engagement Committee with representatives from Tk'emlups te Secwepemc, Aboriginal Education Council, KTTA, CUPE, Pineview Valley community, parents, staff, District Parent Advisory Council, City of Kamloops, Ministry of Education and Child Care, and Trustees to work together with Station One Architects and SD73 staff to review and provide feedback on draft plans for the new school. We aim to meet in a cycle of gathering feedback, working on plans to respond to feedback, and then bringing plans back to the group. The goal is to truly collaborate by listening to concerns and co-problem solving. This is a link to the draft plans of the school as a 3D rendering.

The themes from the first Pineview Valley Community Engagement meeting were reported to the Board on May 15, 2023, at the Regular Public Board Meeting. They included:

Importance of diverse indoor and outdoor spaces.

  • Small Learning Assistance Resource Teacher spaces that could double as meeting rooms.
  • Inclusion of Indigenous Garden area.
  • Gathering spaces.

Flexible, adaptable spaces: ensuring multi-use spaces and rooms.

  • Possible use of operable wall between Library and Multi-purpose Room.

Beauty of the lake and trails: using nature to teach.

  • Teach about ecology and species in the area.
  • Access to trails.

Neighbourhood Learning Centre.

  • Use space to expand gym.
  • Use space to add an Aboriginal Education room.
  • Use space to add a Before and After School Care room.

Pedagogies.

  • Place white boards on the classroom cubbies for vertical learning.
  • Bright open spaces.
  • Leverage the local ecology.

Facilities and grounds.

  • Review number of change room versus washrooms.
  • Multi-purpose room ensure - music, fine arts.
  • Accessibility of site without going through the building.

Storage: make sure there is enough.

In meeting with other partner groups (Ministry of Forests, Ministry of Environment, Kamloops Naturalist Club), the following themes were shared:

Maintain the look and feel of the natural environment as much as possible.

  • Consider grade alternatives to reduce the height of the field retaining wall.
  • Plant trees and natural vegetation to soften the feel of the field retaining wall.
  • Review vegetation and tree species to minimize water usage and connection to existing natural vegetation.
  • Take advantage of site topography to develop play opportunities for the students, where possible (e.g.,use some portion of the hills to create slides).
  • Maintain access to existing pathways that border the school and to Python Lake.
  • Review fencing of school district site considering animal and human access, and student safety.

Provide an appropriate development setback from riparian areas.

Provide natural vegetation for the relocated Python Creek stream channel.

Naturalize the west end of the site as much as possible to offset some of the natural features that will be removed.

Ensure that students are safe while also having access to the natural environment.

Develop a field that gives as much space as possible for students to engage in multi-use field activities.

The Board of Education looks forward to continuing to collaborate and engage with community partners through the committee as we look forward to the building of Pineview Valley  Elementary School in 2026.

To learn more about Board advocacy for this capital project, please visit: https://www.sd73.bc.ca/pineview-valley

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