The Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) released three site maps for a potential new Cultural Immersion School on Dec. 20, 2019. OKIB members were asked to choose their favourite location. (Photo: Okanagan Indian Band)

Okanagan Indian Band releases site maps for proposed new school

Band conducting school feasibility study for replacement of Cultural Immersion School in Vernon

A proposal for a new school on Vernon’s Westside Road now has some location options mapped out.

The Okanagan Indian Band released three site maps on Dec. 20 for a potential new location for its Cultural Immersion School.

The site maps were sent to OKIB members, who were asked to choose their favourite of the three or use a blank template of the Band-owned land on Westside Road to design their own layout for the new school.

Designed by McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd., the maps are meant to provide a sense of where the school buildings and play areas could be located given the size and shape of the proposed area.

READ MORE: Okanagan Indian Band conducting study for new school

Two of the site maps place the school on the north end of the land plot, the key variation being the placement of the parking lot and bus drop off. The third map situates the school on the south end of the site near the cemetery.

All three maps show a proposed site of six hectares.

The maps come as part of the OKIB’s ongoing School Feasibility Study. Earlier this month the band announced a series of public sessions and an online survey, inviting public input on the size, location and amenities the school should have.

“The size, location and amenities available of a new school will be connected to the level of community engagement,” the OKIB wrote in a December newsletter.

The online survey is still open on the OKIB’s website.

OKIB’s current Cultural Immersion School is housed in a building from the 1950s. The band says there’s no way to expand the building, meaning the school is limited to enrolling 45 students.

Additionally, 76 per cent of OKIB students are transported to surrounding districts and private schools. That means students spend an average of 315 hours of bus transportation in a 180-day school year, according to the band.

READ MORE: Fish in Schools program reaches 41 schools throughout Syilx region in 2019


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at [email protected]
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