No one can accuse the Kamloops-Thompson School District of resting on its laurels.
Mere weeks after the province agreed to hand over $6.3 million to build the NorKam Entry Level Trades and Technology Centre, the district is set to ask for more capital funding for an upgrade to South Kamloops Secondary School.
Now that NorKam has the green light and the funds, it's only encouraged the school board to turn thoughts to South Kamloops, said Supt. Terry Sullivan.
"I think it's energized the board that they were successful through their persistence," he said. "I know the province doesn't want to hear from us right now, but certainly my intention is once the dust settles for a while, we press on with this."
The school board passed a five-year capital expenditure plan on Monday that lists as a top priority $12.5 million for much needed school renovations that would include a new gym, change room and five classrooms.
"It's quite frankly deplorable and it should've been addressed a long time ago. It's like the catacombs down there," said Sullivan referring to South Kam's gym built in 1953. "It's not a good situation."
NorKam was also in the capital plan. The district will add its own $1.1 million, acquired from the sale of the McGill school property to Telus for a total project cost of $7.4 million.
Some of the money from the sale of the McGill property may also end up going to the South Kamloops renovations but the district hopes the rest of the process isn't as gruelling as it was for NorKam.
"It's taken us eight years to get (NorKam) so I hope it's not going to take us another eight years to address this issue at South Kamloops," said Sullivan.
It will be some time before the NorKam project goes out to tender since the district has to settle the paperwork with the province, hire architects and create drawings.
But all of it is expected to be a boon for the community. With a projected economic multiplier effect of 1.5 — a process in which money spent on a project is re-spent many times so that its effect is multiplied — it adds up to a possible $11.1 million spent locally.
"Hopefully there will be some local firms that'll bid on it for everything from structural engineering to the actual construction and architectural drawings," said Sullivan.
The district is meeting Tuesday to begin discussions around the construction of the school, which is anticipated to open in September 2014.