For Immediate Release
March 2, 2017
VICTORIA— The Christy Clark government is letting down Prince Rupert children and youth by failing to take action to address deteriorating conditions at Prince Rupert Middle school, says the New Democrat MLA for North Coast Jennifer Rice.
“While Christy Clark wines and dines her big money donors children and youth in Prince Rupert are struggling to learn in a school that is in desperate need of replacement,” said Rice, who raised the issue in question period in Victoria on Thursday.
“Parents in my community are fed up from having to send their kids to a school that’s falling apart, sinking and stinking.”
Officials at the Prince Rupert school district sent a letter to the Minister of Education outlining serious concerns about the state of the building on Feb. 21, 2017 which said “some of the issues with aging facility are becoming increasingly apparent to our students and their families. These include lead in the school water system; power outages; and failed water and sewer pipes. The basement and the crawl spaces in the building continue to flood on a regular basis. Air quality in the wood shop is an ongoing issue, as a very unpleasant smell continues to erupt in the room…closure of the wood shop in September is a distinct possibility.”
Despite this letter, Christy Clark’s minister of education appeared to be completely unaware of the condition of the building when he was asked about it by MLA Rice in the legislature.
The building needs $8 million dollars in seismic upgrades and $11 million in deferred building maintenance. Independent consultant reports commissioned by the Ministry of Education state that the building is beyond its useful life. It was built in 1958 on the former site of the Prince Rupert landfill.
“Prince Rupert Middle School not only has asbestos in the walls but has lead in the drinking water. It is sinking in the back because it’s situated on a toxic dump site. The basement frequently floods. Sewage and water pipes are failing, and the roof needs replacement,” said Rice.
“Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals have had 16 years to make things better for B.C. communities and B.C. families, and they chose not to. That’s not leadership.”
See MLA Rice’s question to the minister here.