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One final push to save school

Gary McKenzie (left) and George Singh build support. - Submitted photo
Gary McKenzie (left) and George Singh build support.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Residents are making one final push to save its historic former school site.

The Society to Save the Kensington Prairie Site formed two years ago to salvage a piece of community heritage. Kensington Prairie School, built in 1914 on 168 Street and 32 Avenue, was closed in 2006 due to the state of the building and being located on an increasingly busy road.

The site has not been used since about 150 students transferred to the nearby and newly built Pacific Heights Elementary.

School District 36, which owns the site, is in negotiations to sell to the City of Surrey. But campaigners are fearful of the site being hawked off to the highest bidder and lost to the community forever.

“We’ve no community centre of historic sites around here,” Ted Hewlett, society co-chair, said. “We hope that the city can buy it and perhaps turn it into an historic park or preschool or something.”

The society is holding a public meeting Tuesday, Feb. 12 in a bid to keep up pressure on the school district and city to strike a deal.

“We are hoping to ascertain if there is still community support behind our campaign,” Hewlett said.

“We need to keep this going. If we don’t, the site will be gone forever and once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

The society believes one attempt to sell the site to the city has already failed.

Thursday the school district was remaining tight-lipped on the future of the former school.

“We are still in ongoing discussion with the city with regard to this property. That’s all I can say at this time,” Wayne Noye, district treasurer, said.

The society will hold its meeting next Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the multi-purpose room in Pacific Heights Elementary at 17148, 26 Ave.

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Community Events, August 2014

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