The Big Eddy Elementary School was closed in 2002. (Google Maps)

School board expresses concern over Big Eddy delays

Still waiting on preliminary layout approval after seven months

The Revelstoke School Board is expressing concern after a series of delays have prevented them from receiving preliminary layout approval for a subdivision in the Big Eddy.

The timeline of the process at the Big Eddy site was discussed at a Dec. 20 Revelstoke School Board meeting.

“We’re trying to be as low-pressure on the City as we can in terms of their work load,” said superintendent Mike Hooker. “We don’t want to be in a position of suggesting they do something differently. The fact is they’re very very busy and working their way through these and it’s taking longer than what we had hoped to get our work through, but we’re not alone.”

The process of disposing the school began in 2012 when permission was received by the Minister of Education. The district ran into issues in 2013 regarding the water quality in the area. Those issues were resolved and the district resubmitted the subdivision in May 2017.

According to a memo prepared by Hooker, at the time, the City advised the school board of a two-month backlog.

In June, the City requested a new subdivision application form. The district submitted the paperwork and paid the fees and were advised of a further two-month wait.

When the board inquired the status of the application at the beginning of the school year, they were told it would be another two months.

In mid-fall, the City said it would be another two months.

On Dec. 12, City staff said that the preliminary layout approval “is not imminent, and potentially will not be approved until spring,” said Hooker’s memo.

Hooker said the school board is getting as many as two or three inquiries into the properties each week.

“We are getting a lot of questions regarding Big Eddy lots and there’s a little bit of misunderstanding or misinformation about what the board is doing,” said Hooker. “The board is interested, is trying to get them ready for sale, wants to sell them.”

Alan Chell, vice-chair of the Board of Education Trustees said that to him, the request is pretty straight-forward.

“We’re not talking about roads, we’re not talking about developments, we’re just talking about land,” he said.

Chell put forward a motion to send a letter to the City saying the district gets contacted regularly about the lots and urging them to approve give preliminary layout approval before the spring.

Bill MacFarland, chair of the Board of Education Trustees agreed that sending the letter was a good idea, especially after looking at the number of two-month delays in Hooker’s memo.

The motion was passed. Trustee Amanda Richardson abstained from the vote due to a conflict.

The subdivision is to include seven residential lots on the former site of the Big Eddy Elementary School on Begbie Road.

The school was closed in 2002 following low enrolment numbers.


 

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The plan for the subdivision. (Revelstoke School District)

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