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School board ‘frustrated’ at prov.’s schools plan By Chris Woodall Howe Sound School Board #48 isn’t happy that the province didn’t include Pemberton’s Signal Hill elementary school in a ministry of education master plan of capital school projects. "It’s made us feel frustrated," says board chairperson Constance Rulka. The only Howe Sound district school on the list of 95 schools across the province that will be built or planned-for in the coming year is Brackendale secondary. A new Signal Hill elementary was at the top of Howe Sound school board’s list of capital project priorities, Rulka says, but the province seems to have relied on an out-of-date list to make its choices. "Signal Hill was put at the top of our list two years ago," Rulka says. Brackendale had been in the top slot. "It’s surprising that they switched," Rulka says. The school board hasn’t given up, however, and is working to talk to the education minister about the prospects for Signal Hill elementary. Although the board will push as hard as it can, Rulka says, radical protest on the lawn of the legislative building isn’t in the cards. "We can’t very well take a tent and camp out" until the government decides to listen. Garibaldi MLA Ted Nebbeling is not impressed, either, at the exclusion of Signal Hill. "It’s not an issue that can be allowed to go away," Nebbeling says. "Very serious conclusions have come out about the health risks at Signal Hill, such as its air quality." The 37 construction projects to start this year will create 14,355 new spaces for students, the government says. Of those, 3,325 spaces will come from schools implementing extended school days. The government says the schools it has listed will be the only ones it will commit to over the next four years. "To sit back and say we’ll say nothing for four years isn’t good," Nebbeling says. "This fight is not over."

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