MPS considers selling properties

Funds acquired would help with capital expenditures

Mission Public Schools (MPS) will be putting a business case together to sell some “redundant” properties, according to school board chair Edie Heinrichs.

There are five sites being considered, she noted, and the money from the sales will be used for capital projects.

On the list are Durieu school, property on Tunbridge Avenue, Cade Barr, Nicomen, and Stave Falls school.

“All these properties are costing us money now because we have to maintain them,” said Heinrichs.

All sales must be approved by the Ministry of Education and Heinrichs noted Education Minister Peter Fassbender encouraged them to submit a plan by when he visited the district Dec. 3.

Heinrichs, along with other school board trustees, including vice-chair Jim Taylor, discussed numerous issues with Fassbender and were impressed with his straight-forward answers.

He didn’t make any promises or offer financial assistance help MPS cover CUPE’s new contract costs and the increasing B.C. Hydro rates, said Taylor.

“(The extra costs) will be a problem for us, but we have no choice,” said Heinrichs.

A Hydro increase of 28 per cent in five years is estimated to cost the Mission school district $100,000 more. In the 2012-2013 school year, MPS spent $387,592 on Hydro, and that number is expected to increase to $485,653 by the 2017-2018 school year.

MPS will pay for the increases by adding to its existing $1.8 million debt. The district is still on track to be our of debt in 2015, said Heinrichs.