June 9, 2018
The Rutland Residents Association continues to lobby School District 23 to take the necessary steps to facilitate the construction of a new Rutland Middle School. The RMS rebuild has been talked about for well over 20 years. Study after study shows that there exists a chronic need for this to happen yet to this day the only thing that the Board has produced is continued lip service and absolutely no action. The building is close to 70 years old and it is looking every bit of its age. Over the past years it has been placed on a priority list for a rebuild, however, it continues to be passed over and put on the proverbial back burner.
There seemed to be a glimmer of hope this past year, yet, once again sufficient funding could not be found. So our School Board looked at other alternatives, which included moving RMS to the existing Quigley Elementary site. This plan involved uprooting present Quigley students and placing them in various other elementary schools in the area. This is one of only a handful of areas in our district that such an educationally disruptive plan to young students would ever have been entertained. Yet other parts of SD 23 have had enormous rebuilds, new schools and even a new middle school is presently on the schedule. I realize that there are several mitigating factors that place one areas needs over another. However, I find it hard to believe that RMS has yet to meet the threshold that would make a new Rutland Middle School a reality. In the meantime, RMS continues to exist in sub-par conditions, including no washroom facilities on the second floor.
Our School Board needs to be consistent and even-handed when funding for builds and upgrades are being allocated. Every student in this district needs to have learning environments that are equal in terms of modernity and functionality. I sincerely hope that I am wrong, but the discrepancies that currently exist appear to be correlated to one’s postal code and thus totally unacceptable and contrary to the basic philosophy of public education. The Rutland Residents Association strongly urge the members of the School Board to address these inequities and commit adequate funding to bring the long overdue rebuild of RMS into fruition.
President of the Rutland Residents Association