Increasing enrollment numbers has left School District 79 in a pinch to free up some space.

The school board voted to relocate the Grade 7 program from Chemainus and Crofton Elementary schools to Chemainus Secondary, starting in the 2019-20 school year.

Board Chair Candace Spilsbury said the community consultations and the development of the North Zone Long-Range Facilities Plan is important in determining the way forward.

“For September 2019, there would be no further space inside our school buildings,” said Spilsbury. “In the past, we have added portables, but what we had to come to terms with was, are we going to continue to add more portables or are we going to look at a different option?”

Spilsbury said the request to get additional portables has spanned a few months in the past, as evidenced by the School District ordering a portable for Chemainus Elementary by early September of the last school year and having it ready by December.

The grade six program at both Crofton and Chemainus elementary schools is expected to relocate to Chemainus Secondary when an extra portable is required at either elementary school

“We do have some other alternatives that we could use to keep the grade six’s at Crofton Elementary next year,” said Spilsbury. “The board really wants a long-term to notify the parents, staff, and the students.”

When it comes to replacing Cowichan Secondary, the school district 79 board is still working with the Ministry of Finance to complete a project definition report and a presentation to the province is expected in May.

The new Superintendent will be named at next week’s School District 79 board meeting. Rod Allen retired last in 2018 but agreed to help until March.