To The Editor:
School District 8 Kootenay Lake does not own the Central school building that houses Wildflower school, or the land that it sits on.
A legal document, verified by a Nelson lawyer, and dated June 28, 1902, stipulates that the Province of British Columbia gave The Corporation of the City of Nelson “to have and to hold the said parcel or lot of land, and all and singular the premises hereby granted, with their appurtenances, unto the said The Corporation of the City of Nelson and its successors for ever, in trust for school purposes and as a school site.”
True to the intent of the document, the prime real estate between Stanley St. and Ward St. was solely a school site for 116 years, before SD8 administrators removed Wildflower students from their top floor classrooms in 2018, to create office space for themselves.
When I heard that the Ministry of Education had given SD8 a million dollars to put an elevator into the building, I was more than a little surprised. Besides the basement level, there is only ground level and one floor above.
I sent a copy of the document to the Ministry of Education and asked why the Ministry would give such a large sum of money to SD8 for an elevator, since SD8 did not own the building, and did not own the land. I mailed copies of the document to SD8’s new superintendent Christine Perkins, and Board Chair Lenora Trenaman.
I met with Mayor Deb Kozak. At that time, the City of Nelson was unaware that it owned the land and the building.
SD8 administrators need to find a new location for their Board Office. I recall an SD8 spokesperson stating that the Board Office was only temporarily sharing space with Wildflower school while searching for a permanent SD8 Board Office location elsewhere.
Now is the time for Wildflower to receive the support of the School Board and district administrators. The school needs resources to recreate the top floor classrooms that were taken from them, and to renovate where necessary.
SD8 needs to sustain, not dismantle, the thriving K-9 school community that Wildflower has been for twenty years. It is important to keep all Wildflower students under one roof. The elevator can be used by any student with special needs that has a classroom on the top floor.
Retired Teacher Barb Brogan, Nelson, BC