To the Editor,
It’s been just over a year since our school trustees voted 5-4 in a decision to close Rutherford Elementary.
This decision is based on a cost-share with the Ministry of Education to expand Frank J. Ney Elementary, at a cost of $5 million, to take the majority of our students. The district continues to not have a clear answer from the ministry and our community continues to live with uncertainty. Imagine the pressure and stress our school community struggles with every single day.
Now imagine that instead of bouncing Rutherford from closure to rebuild and back to closure status over the past 10 years that the school district had actually supported our community, and used the money spent trying to close our school to invest in Rutherford. Despite SD68’s 10 years of neglect to Rutherford’s future, maintenance and upgrades, our school continues to be a jewel in north Nanaimo with dedicated teachers, 213 kind and thoughtful children, one of the largest and best-appointed school libraries, expansive school grounds, and a vibrant, active PAC group.
Superintendent John Blain attended our PAC meeting Dec. 13 and said even if ministry money comes through for the Frank Ney expansion that if costs rise, the district’s share was over 50 per cent, or any number of other scenarios, that the school board may decide to re-vote on the bylaw.
It is incumbent upon those five trustees who voted to close our school and rip the heart out of our community to take responsibility for their mistake. I urge them to rescind the bylaw to close Rutherford Elementary.