Parents state their case for the future of FH Collins

The survey results are pouring in and a picture is forming: Whitehorse citizens want to rebuild the aging FH Collins Secondary School in Riverdale.

The survey results are pouring in and a picture is forming: Whitehorse citizens want to rebuild the aging FH Collins Secondary School in Riverdale.

The survey asked parents whether they want FH Collins refurbished or replaced.

But the survey did not outline the costs of either proposal.

The school was originally built in 1963 and is three years past its life expectancy.

Out of 179 respondents, 66 per cent said they would like a new school.

Out of the 67 Riverdale respondents, 50 per cent said they would like to see the school rebuilt and 50 per cent said they want it refurbished.

The survey was issued by Hold Fast Consultants, a British Columbia company that has been hired by the Yukon government for $69,000 to make a recommendation as to what should be done with the secondary school.

The survey results were revealed at a public meeting held in the school’s cafeteria Tuesday night.

Twelve people attended the meeting.

Since 1996, the population of FH Collins has been in decline, said Hold Fast Consultants’ Bruce McAskill during the meeting.

Its capacity is 857 students. It currently has 581.

So not only is the school deteriorating with age it is now far too large for it’s population base said McAskill.

“I think the information for the survey is probably just about what we thought the survey would show us,” said Lee Kubica, assistant deputy minister of Education and superintendent of schools.

“We were reasonably confident that people would still want a downtown high school because our conversations with parents over time have indicated that this is a good spot for a school, so that probably doesn’t surprise us.

“The 50-50 split on whether we should be doing some substantive work on the building as it is now or whether we should replace it that’s probably where we thought that would be as well.”

“In my election campaign I said I’d work towards the renewal of FH Collins, whether that be rebuild or refurbish,” said Ted Staffen, MLA for Riverdale North.

“One can only presume that because I was re-elected partly on that platform that the people of Riverdale support the issue of a redevelopment of FH Collins,” said Staffen.

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