Sun Peaks is getting "darn frustrated" over the unresolved request for a school at the resort and its mayor will be "madder than hell" if it is not approved in time to open in September.
Mayor Al Raine expressed frustration in the wake of a Kamloops-Thompson School District report indicating more information is needed before trustees can decide whether to establish a school in Sun Peaks.
"I must say the thought entered my mind that this is a delay tactic," he said. "We've delayed from January until now, then we'll delay until September and say 'Oops, sorry. Too late. You're on your own.' The community's darn frustrated."
Raine's presentation to the school district in January was on the community of Sun Peaks. An official request to establish a school happened in a March presentation.
Supt. Terry Sullivan, who wrote the report as a followup to March's presentation and subsequent staff inquiries into the proposal, said numerous aspects of the project and its funding need clarity.
"If he thought it was going to say 'We recommend that the board establish a school at Sun Peaks' without any of the information, I can see where he's disappointed," said Sullivan.
He added that the time it's taken to turn the information around was more than respectable - especially considering the teachers' job action.
"Compare it to any municipality. I think we've come at it with lightning speed," said Sullivan. "I am disappointed, quite frankly, that he feels that way. Because I think we've done everything we possibly can to accommodate him."
Raine also directed rancour at Sullivan for "speaking for the province." Raine said he's been to Victoria to gauge availability of capital funding for a school for the resort, and he heard "no negative overtones."
He also spoke with Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake who was "sympathetic," although "made no promises," said Raine.
"The only person who has so far spoken for the province in a negative way is Mr. Sullivan," said Raine. "And he said the province would never do this because there are empty classrooms in Kamloops. I am surprised he is speaking for the province."
Raine said he wants to bypass the school district altogether and deal with the province directly.
Sullivan said he heard from provincial representatives and from Raine that the Sun Peaks mayor had gone to the province.
"And the province said no and the province has sent him back to us," said Sullivan.
The way new schools occur is by approaching the province with a capital plan for the school "and that's how the money flows," said Sullivan.
For more than a decade, he said, the province has refused capital funding projects and renovations in the school district.
"And the reason we've always been given for not having capital projects approved by the province is because we have too much empty space," he said.
"Those are the facts."
The school board trustees are discussing the issue during this evening's board meeting in Barriere.