LSS closure one option being explored

Langley Secondary School is not closing its doors any time soon, Langley School trustees emphasize.

The school district is going through a review of its facilities, right now focusing on the overcapacity Willoughby area, and Langley Secondary (and its feeder schools) because the aging school needs a lot of work.

But school closures are covered in district policy which requires a 60-day consultation period, and would still require Ministry of Education approval, not a quick process.

Several consultation meetings have been held with various groups and at different schools in recent months.

Feedback has show “there is very little community appetite” to put lots of money into seismic upgrades at LSS, superintendent Suzanne Hoffman said at the Jan. 27 board meeting.

Several suggestions are being examined, including building a new school on the site, to keep some of the existing facility, and making H.D. Stafford Middle School a high school and making Simonds Elementary a middle school.

The school district plans to have an information package ready for Feb. 2, outlining the process for the public. There will be a public townhall meeting Feb. 10 at LSS and a special board meeting is at 7 p.m. on Feb. 17 when the board expects to make some decisions. The special meeting is at the board office, 4875 222nd St.

Hoffman noted the district is having ongoing convesrations with the Ministry of Education, the Township, and the City as it plans towards better utilizing its facilities.

The district is preparing a business plan for the ministry so it has up-to-date information for its planning. Langley is one of the few districts that needs more student spaces, but only in Willoughby.

“This is an extememly complex process,” commented Trustee Alison McVeigh, adding “it’s important. We’re going to try and make the very best decision for kids that we can.”

The public can make written submissions on the long term facilities plan and the LSS situation. They should be sent to the Office of the Secretary Treasurer, 4875 22nd St., Langley, V3A3Z7 or emailed to dgreen@sd35.bc.ca.

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