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Barr Colony decision still pending, parent sends concerns to education minister

The discussion on the future of the Barr Colony School is still ongoing after the Nov. 22 board meeting of the Lloydminster Public School Division or LPSD.

LPSD officials say discussions will continue at the next board meeting on Dec. 13th, as they discuss the issue of the 10-year-old mould at the school. They add this allows time “to conduct a comprehensive assessment, including a closer examination of the maintenance and repair costs of the school’s infrastructure, an analysis of student utilization rates, and a thorough review of the concerns” expressed by the school community.

One engineering report on the LPSD website details the cost of repair at about $2 million, the cost of five-year deferred maintenance at about $3.7 million, and the cost of a new school at $13.2 million.

While remediation work and other studies have been done dating back to 2013, the school community has expressed its concerns. One parent has circulated an email that was forwarded to the Saskatchewan education minister.

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The file outlines that Barr Colony enrolls 274 kids with a building capacity of 311. They express concerns about the cost of bussing students to other schools if Barr Colony is closed.

Other issues raised include:

  • Renovation estimates, or portable classroom alternatives
  • No options have been suggested for the Kindergarten that is housed at Barr Colony
  • The cost of renovation and repairs versus the cost of a new school
  • Impact on property values in the area if the school is closed

Meanwhile, the Barr Colony feasibility study on the LPSD website lists similar concerns:

  • Impact on the community if the school is closed
  • Overcrowding at other schools when students are transferred
  • Special needs kids and the loss of familiar environment
  • Questions over the allocation of funds by the LPSD for school maintenance
  • Greater transparency in relaying information

The LPSD reports that the “community is deeply invested in the fate of their local school, and concerned about the impact of its potential closure.”

MyLloydminsterNow has reached out to the Saskatchewan education ministry and is awaiting comment on the email that was forwarded on behalf of Barr Colony’s parents.

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