School District 52 asks to replace Prince Rupert Middle School in capital budget

School District 52 is asking for one thing in this year's capital budget — $22 million.

School District 52 is asking for one thing in this year’s capital budget — $22 million.

The $22 million S.D. 52 is requesting is for a new a new middle school in the district, to replace Prince Rupert Middle School (PRMS) which is over 50 years old.

“PRMS is an aging building with most systems nearing the end of their useful life,” Tina Last, School District 52 board chair said.

Cam McIntyre, secretary-treasurer said the boilers, heating and electrical systems need to be upgraded, as well, the roof must be replaced within the next couple of years.

“We’ve had considerable studies done on the building… Most of the systems in the building are nearing the end of their useful life. You can look at progressively trying to replace all of those systems over time or you can simply look at replacing the building,” McIntyre said.

The seismic rating for PRMS was considered high, which could have meant priority funding for upgrades. However, last spring the ministry reviewed schools in the province and determined the risk was less than previously identified. The district has now applied to receive funding from the ministry to build a new school.

S.D. 52 wants PRMS to be replaced with a new, environmentally-friendly school, such as Prince George’s new secondary school Duchess Park, which is an energy efficient and sustainable school.

“We will continue to ask the ministry to consider this project a priority, so that the expensive repair of these systems can be avoided and our students can learn in a new, environmentally friendly and purpose-designed building,” Last said.

The request will be submitted this month, with the district not expecting to find out their fate until early 2013.

“We encourage everyone to let their MLA know that it should be a high priority to them to have a new school,” McIntyre said.