The Nanaimo Ladysmith School Board is moving ahead on a plan that could see school closures.

In a 6-3 vote Wednesday night the Board approved an updated facilities plan.

The recommendations include closing Woodlands Secondary in 2016, along with either Woodbank Primary or North Cedar Intermediate, and Rutherford Elementary in 2017.

Heading into the meeting, Mike Ball with the Nanaimo District Teachers Association said the Board is being put in a tough spot by the province.

“If the ministry continues to under-fund the system, and demand that all schools be at or near capacity or over capacity before any new monies are put in, our Board is left with little choice… what else are they going to do but close schools,” he says. “As far as we’re concerned students should be educated in their own communities, but the Ministry makes that very hard to do.”

The next step is a 60 day public consultation.

The prospect of school closures was a big factor in the last Board elections.