School trustees are at a loss for words after the province once again left the Kamloops-Thompson School District off a list of districts that will get money for capital upgrades.
But school district Supt. Terry Sullivan and Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake are confident money is coming for a trades and technology school at NorKam secondary.
Premiere Christy Clark announced Friday $207 million in new road, school and health projects throughout the province, including school improvements in Nanaimo, Campbell River, Houston, Surrey and Maple Ridge.
Kamloops was not mentioned, which outraged trustees, who say they've done everything in their power to get money from the province.
"It's insane. There's been no capital money for Kamloops ever," said school board chair Denise Harper. "What message is she (Clark) sending to the constituents of this riding?"
Trustees have met with every education minister since the B.C. Liberals took power in 2001, repeatedly recruited the help of local MLAs, and written countless letters asking for money for school improvements.
Yet no money has come. Meanwhile, Kelowna has received $83.4 million for school projects, said board vice-chairwoman Kathleen Karpuk.
"You have to wonder what's going on. Is there someone in the ministry who doesn't like Kamloops?"
Trustee Gerald Watson cornered former education minister George Abbott during a visit to Kamloops earlier this year and asked why other school districts get funding and Kamloops-Thompson doesn't.
Abbott told him districts with declining enrolment don't receive capital funding. When Watson pointed out that Vernon — a district with declining enrolment — received money for a new school the minister was at a loss for words, he said.
"He had nothing to say," said Watson.
Trustee Annette Glover thinks it might be time to recruit help from the community, especially when it comes to securing money for NorKam. If Clark wants to ease a shortage in skilled labourers, the trades and technology school is a good place to start, she said.
Sullivan was disappointed by Friday's announcement but is confident Lake and Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger will come through.
A capital project report, which includes $12 million in upgrades to South Kamloops secondary and a revamped $7.4 million NorKam trades and technology school, was presented to trustees earlier this week. Sullivan is convinced the set list of projects and costs will help the MLAs do their jobs.
Lake believes he's closer than ever before to getting the district some money. He said dropping the price of the NorKam project from $9 million to $7.4 million helps.