Spring Creek school could open by January, 2003 

The first school bell will not sound at the new Spring Creek elementary school until at least the winter of 2003.

Early last year it was anticipated the school could be ready for September 2001. That date was then pushed back to September 2002 as the district waited for title to the land and the subsequent release of provincial funds.

Now, January 2003 is the earliest the school doors will open, architects told Whistler council at their meeting held Tuesday, May 22.

The design development report was recently sent to the Ministry of Finance for approval and architects hope to have approval for the next stage of work by early June.

If this goes according to plan, draftsmen can start on working drawings which should be completed by September this year. The next step would be to tender the project. A contract would be awarded by the second week of November.

That would likely mean missing the construction window for this year entirely. The earliest ground could then be broken would be in spring 2002 with a possible January 2003 completion of the project.

Myrtle Philip elementary, already bulging at the seams, will have to endure another year of overcrowding and the delay will likely mean other planning – like drawing catchment boundaries – will also be pushed back.

The district was looking to draw boundaries this fall.

Parents are anxious to know how the community will be "split" and whether the Grade 7s – currently accommodated at Whistler secondary – will return to the elementary schools.

Parents also want to start a spring Creek Parent Advisory Council as soon as possible to start fund-raising for the new facility.

A name will also have to be decided for the new school. The school board considered naming it Don Ross elementary after Squamish school trustee Don Ross. The board, however, decided instead to rename Brackendale secondary Don Ross secondary school in his honour.

Other than Myrtle Philip community school, the schools in the Howe Sound district all have geographic tags.

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