Abbotsford School District Superintendent Kevin Godden hears questions and comments from Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School parent Carelle McKellan at a public information session on seismic upgrades and further necessary maintenance work for the school in March. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News file photo

Abby Schools

Abbotsford School District has enough portables to house ATSS students

Spokesperson says there are more considerations before committing free portables to traditional school

Out of 113 portables owned by the Abbotsford School District, six are currently not in use, the same number that would be required to avoid displacing any students or staff from Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School during seismic work.

The school district expects to gain provincial funding for the seismic work, but because of the availability of space at Rick Hansen Secondary School, the Ministry of Education will not fund portables to avoid displacing students during the work.

ASD spokesperson Kayla Stuckart confirmed with The News this week that the district currently has six portables not in use, but she said that doesn’t mean all portables will necessarily be used for ATSS during seismic work.

RELATED: Options presented for Abbotsford students displaced by seismic upgrades

RELATED: ‘Fighting and war’: Abbotsford students, parents oppose temporary relocation

“There are a number of factors that we need to look at and review for the district as a whole – for example, expected enrollment growth and capacity pressures at some of our schools,” Stuckart said in an email.

“While six portables may be available, two of them are from 1990 construction and require some upgrades. Using available portables is an option that we will consider as we review the requirements for the ATSS seismic project.”

ATSS parent Carelle McKellan, who brought potential unused portables within the district to the attention of The News last month, said it is “good news” that the school district is looking into its own stock of portables for potential solutions.

She said research by a group of advocate parents from ATSS found that moving each portable would run about $25,000 – about one-ninth of the school district’s $225,000 estimate for each new portable.

The group of parents, who presented at last month’s school board meeting, will be presenting to school board again next Tuesday to relay their findings, McKellan said.

However, parents and students have been vehemently opposed to displacing students to Rick Hansen Secondary. They cite concerns that this could trigger a decline in ATSS attendance and ultimately result in the closure of the school, as well as potential conflicts between ATSS and RHSS students.

The school district has offered several options, which include the use of six portables to keep all ATSS students and staff on site, also utilizing unoccupied space at the adjoining Abbotsford Traditional Middle School.

Other options include sending certain grades to their catchment schools instead of traditional schools; offering some courses at RHSS and other courses at the traditional campus, requiring fewer portables; and amalgamating ATSS and ATMS, including administration and counselling, freeing up redundant space occupied by staff, requiring three portables.

RELATED: Abbotsford School District surplus could drop to 1/3 of target range

At $225,000 apiece, six new portables would add up to around $1.35 million, adding more costs to the district, which is currently facing a draining accumulated surplus.

The project is expected to run 18 months, and the school district is seeking more funding elsewhere to conduct further necessary maintenance work on the building, including the building envelope, concurrently with the seismic work.

That maintenance work is expected to run $5 million to $8 million, while the seismic work is pegged at nearly $18 million.

Find more of our coverage on the Abbotsford School District here.

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Curated Second-Hand Market joins farmers’ market

Event hosted by The Reach Gallery Museum takes place July 20 in Abbotsford

Alleged Abbotsford crime boss loses bid for jail release while awaiting extradition hearing

Jazzy Sran is accused of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into Canada from the U.S.

Family of Chilliwack pilot killed in Honduras crash creates memorial scholarship fund

Parents, sister of Patrick Forseth fundraising to pay to send aspiring pilots to flight school

RCMP use helicopter and police dog to search for suspect on Sts’ailes First Nation

Man known to police fled an allegedly stolen vehicle and firearm on the reserve north of Chilliwack

Public hearing Monday for huge development near downtown

A 599-unit development has been proposed for a large site just north of the historic downtown

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

Justin Trudeau’s carbon footprint revealed in ranking of world leaders

Travel company ranks 15 world leaders’ foreign flight CO2 emissions

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read