Superintendent of Education Gary Girardi says a provincial moratorium on school consolidations, put into effect last June, creates some challenges.
“We do face challenges in terms of declining enrollment and the financial challenges associated with it. Those challenges include maintaining aging facilities. We have experienced in our area an enrollment decline since amalgamation of school boards in 1998. That decline is lessening over the next 10 years but we’ll continue to see an overall enrollment decline by 2028 of 1,099 students – that’s our projection,” says Girardi.
Girardi says it’s tough to manage the finances of aging facilities when combined with a fewer kids entering the public school system, since provincial funding is based on current and future enrollment demographics.
“Right now our capacity utilization- the number of spaces we’re using across the Board – as a percentage is 72.96%. So the percentage of non-utilized space within the Board is of great concern to us,” explains Girardi.