Report concludes sale of Cedar Valley school was legal

Some funds from sale of school used to purchase another property

Mission Public Schools

Nothing illegal took place in the sale of Cedar Valley School (CVS) more than eight years ago, according to an $11,300 report commissioned by Mission Public Schools.

Trustees in the cash-strapped school district felt the need to clear the allegations about conflicts of interest in the deal, explained Mission school board chair Edie Heinrichs about the long-standing issue. “We didn’t have a choice but to investigate … we didn’t want that standing over our heads.”

Heinrichs says she heard the various rumours circulating when she worked for the school district, and when the trustees asked questions after the last election, they weren’t give “satisfactory” answers.

“If we didn’t investigate, we would be part of the problem, if a problem existed,” she explained. “We felt it was our duty to the public to clear things up.”

The report, prepared by Grant Thornton, and released at the last school board meeting, provides a chronology of events that took place regarding the sale of CVS on Dewdney Trunk Road in 2005, and the purchase and sale of the original Riverside College property on Lougheed Highway.

A portion of the funds from the sale of the Dewdney Trunk Road school was used to buy the first Riverside building that same year, a building which had been leased since 2001.

The CVS property was appraised at $750,000 and sold for $786,000. The Riverside property on Lougheed Highway location was valued at $1.5 million and purchased for $1.85 million.

“The report shows some things were not done in proper order, but it was not illegal,” said Heinrichs.

It tells a straight-froward story, said trustee Jim Taylor, who encouraged the public to draw their own conclusions. “We’re told nothing criminal happened in the transactions.”

The full report is available at mspd.ca.

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