School reconfiguration sees Mission secondary chosen for new senior high

Heritage Park and Hatzic secondary schools will become middle schools for grades 7 through 9 under new plan.

Trustees voted unanimously Monday evening to reconfigure the district’s schools in order to create a single high school for all the district’s Grade 10, 11 and 12 students.

Mission secondary was chosen to house the new senior high school, with the other secondary schools — Heritage Park and Hatzic — to be redesignated as middle schools for students in grades 7 through 9.

All four school trustees present — Randy Cairns, Shelley Carter, chair Edie Heinrichs, and vice-chair Jim Taylor — approved the changes. Trustee Carol Hamilton was not present.

Trustees and a crowd of more than 50 parents, teachers and community members heard that a new high school was needed in order to provide students with high level education. Falling enrolment has reduced the number of advanced placement and specialty courses it can offer in its high schools, various speakers said.

The decision to house the new high school in Mission secondary was made for several reasons, including financial considerations. Trustees had been told by a consultant that outfitting Mission secondary as a senior high school would cost in the neighbourhood of $1.5 million, while doing so at Heritage Park would cost three times as much.

Trustees also expressed hope that the district would eventually be able to secure funding from the province to replace the 62-year-old Mission secondary.

Check Friday’s Mission Record for more details and reaction from trustees and those present.