Board passes motion to relocate PRSD's central office and facilities operations to Grimshaw Jr Sr High School

Board passes motion to relocate PRSD's central office and facilities operations to Grimshaw Jr Sr High School

For immediate release
June 22, 2018
– During the regular board meeting held on June 19, 2018, the Peace River School Division (PRSD) board of trustees passed a motion to relocate PRSD’s central office and facilities operations to the former Grimshaw Jr Sr High School (GHS) building by a recorded vote of 5-2.
Full approval of the relocation is conditional on the renovation costs not exceeding one million dollars.  Administration was directed to prepare a budget and relocation transition plan for the August 21, 2018 board meeting for the board’s review.

“The board and management staff have been exploring ways to operate a balanced budget and reduce costs with minimal impact to student learning and success” says Board Chair Darren Kuester. “Our 2018-2019 preliminary budget has a deficit of $414,733.00 primarily in the area of Plant Operations and Maintenance and using reserves is no longer an option.”

At the April board meeting, the board reviewed and discussed budget scenarios and management presented various options to reduce costs in Plant Operations and Maintenance that included closing schools, closing classrooms and reducing staff. The board received the options as information and directed management to develop Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for vendors to submit quotes for the cost of facilities that would allow for a partial or full amalgamation of PRSD’s Central and Support Services in one location in Peace River, Grimshaw or Berwyn.

Two proposals were submitted by one architecture company for estimates that included new construction of a partial and a full amalgamation that ranged from $7,000,000.00 to $11,000,000.00. The board accepted the RFPs as information.

“The board has spent considerable time reviewing reports, cost analyses, results from staff interviews, community consultations and Centralization Committee reports” says Kuester. “Between both the outgoing board, and the current board of trustees, we have been thorough in consulting stakeholders and have undergone extensive research to get to this point. We understand that relocating central office and facilities operations will impact staff and communities, however first and foremost, we remain committed to ensure resources will be used to maximize student learning.”