Ahead of a Thursday town hall meeting on the Ecole J.H. Sissons School rebuild, the YK1 school board has voted to support the territorial government’s plan for the school.
With only trustee Terry Brookes against, the board voted to accept a Ministry of Education, Culture and Employment decision to build the new school where the existing school sits 5700 51A Avenue. The GNWT decision means students would have to be relocated for the two years ECE is estimating it will take to rebuild.
Trustee Tina Drew argues the outcome of the government’s $300,000 geotechnical study results must be trusted.
“Do we want to move students? Nobody at this table wants to move students, But we’ve been given a study, and I’m not a geotech engineer. So I have to trust that they know what they’re talking about.”
School board members, except for Brookes, agree the opportunity to rebuild Sissons can’t be missed. Several trustees also have N. J. Macpherson school on their minds, as it is said to be next in need of a complete rebuild.
Waving a copy of the GNWT geotechnical study in front of his colleagues at Tuesday’s meeting, Brookes suggested the geotech report didn’t reach the conclusions the GNWT did on the Sissons location.
“You guys are getting lies here, somebody is not telling you the truth. Somebody is really pulling the wool over your head, I’ll tell you that right now.”
He also says building on rock at the existing site will be more expensive than building at another part of the school property. Other trustees disagree, with Tina Drew saying building anywhere else on the site would mean a costly foundation and less money left over for the school building.
Co-chair of the Sissons parent advisory council Katherine Harris brought up the uncertainty and rumors parents are hearing surrounding the Sissons decision.
Board chair John Stephenson put one of those rumors – that a polytechnic institute would be built where the school is now – to rest.
Harris added she isn’t sure if the meeting this Thursday will be useful for parents, as they have been given very short notice.
“Four days notice that’s technically been given to parents, many are still away for Christmas holidays. We had specifically requested it not be scheduled for this week.”
The town hall meeting takes place Thursday, January 10 at 7 p.m. in the Sissons school gym.