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It was widely seen as good news when the need for a new high school in West Kelowna was identified as a top priority by the Ministry of Education. But for the president of Rutland Middle School's Parent Advisory Council it was just one more reason to feel ignored. Brand new schools in growing areas and seismic upgrades in Vancouver are tending to get more attention than aging schools like theirs. So Marie Howell is speaking out. KelownaNow met with her outside RMS Tuesday.
Marie Howell says the school has been identified for replacement since the 1990's. "It does not meet many of today's building codes," said Howell. "And we've been promised for years we are going to be replaced."
Howell says the school has limited wheelchair accessibility, inadequate washroom facilities, and flooring in the gym and the auditorium that are at the end. She recalls an incident from a few years ago when a child put their foot through the flooring.
In reference to the new West Kelowna high school, Howell sent a letter to the editors of various local media in which she wrote: "The RMS parents are outraged by this apparent plan to yet again build another school while RMS continues to deteriorate."
With a replacement school apparently not on the horizon, Howell is now focused on at least getting some upgrades so that students can make the best of the old building.