Distance now a factor in the Woking School closure

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The recent decision to close the Woking School at the end of the 2020-21 academic year affects more than students.

On Thursday morning presentations were made to the Peace Wapiti Public School Division trustees by Saddle Hills County Reeve Alvin Hubert and Karen Egge, on behalf of the Saddle Hills County Municipal Library Board.

“Although the board has outlined the monetary costs it faces, I am sure the board is also very well aware of the additional very real costs to the community and the families of Woking, if the school were to close,” Hubert said, noting he wanted to encourage the board to look beyond the monetary costs. “The displacement and inconvenience many families will experience if their children are bused to schools in other communities is a concern, not to mention the time and extra distances that our most precious resource will spend on roads in all kinds of weather.”

With the passing of the motion to close the school, all students living east of Highway 2 will be bused to Rycroft for school while those west of the north-south highway be bused to Spirit River Regional Academy for classes.

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Hubert added there is a concern about the long bus routes some of the students will face.

“The loss of infrastructure, like the community library, as well as the gymnasium, are real concerns to the greater Woking population,” Hubert added. “And the county would like to discuss and support discussions with interested groups.”

Egge also addressed the library.

“We are seeking your help today, trustees and Superintendent (Bob) Stewart, to come up with a solution to provide continuing library services either on an interim or permanent basis,” said Egge. “There are no real plans in place yet as today is the pivotal decision day, but we are putting our voice to you to ask for consideration to continue library services.”

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