Town of Golden council approves rezoning for Francophone school

One condition to approving the Francophone school at 820 11th Avenue S. has been completed, and town council has officially approved the rezoning.

Before Town of Golden council could approve the rezoning from mixed use commercial C2 to education and culture I2, a traffic impact assessment had to be completed to ensure school safety and determine changes necessary to the roads and sidewalks.

The property owner engaged a traffic engineer to provide professional guidance on the site layout of the school, including where to locate staff parking, parent and bus drop off and pick up zones, and supporting enhancements to improve safety.

Dusevic Holdings, one of the owners of the property has agreed to pay $15,150 for off site contributions, estimated by the engineer, through partnership with the Ton of Golden. The Town will invoice for the cost of initial crosswalk painting, signage, posts, installation, curb painting, and the developer’s contractor will undertake wheel chair ramp improvements.

The engineer recommends that crosswalks be painted on the north and east sides of the 9th Street S. and 11th Avenue S. intersection, installation of crosswalk signs, the installation of a wheelchair ramp on the southeast corner of the intersection, painting the 9th Street S. curb from 11th Avenue S. to 15 metres to the east, replacing the flush curb on the northeast corner of 9th Street S. and 11th Avenue S. intersection with a barrier curb and proper wheelchair ramps, as well as reducing the speed limit to the 30 km/hr school zone speed in that area, and providing bicycle racks on the south side of the school.

In 2017, the Parents Committee for a Future Golden Francophone School stated that there were approximately 50 eligible children whose parents had expressed a desire for Francophone education.

The committee and Conseil Scolaire Francophone (CSF), the Francophone school district in the province, aims to open the Kindergarten to Grade 4 Francophone school by September 2019.

Construction at the location has been underway, transforming the building from commercial spaces and a residential apartment on the second floor into a school.

In March, CSF officially announced the opening of the Francophone school in Golden, with registration open to Canadian children of Francophone origin.

The CSF stated on their website, www.csf.bc.ca, the school will welcome more than 30 children into Kindergarten to Grade 4, and in years to come the school will expand annually to include students to Grade 7, at which time they will graduate to high school.

The new school in Golden will operate with the l’ecole des Glacier a Revelstoke (Revelstoke Glacier school), and provides public Francophone education.

Canadian citizens living in B.C. have the right to have their children educated in a Francophone education program so long as the parent’s first language learned and still understood is French, they received their primary school instruction in Canada in French (not including French immersion), or their children have received or are receiving primary or secondary school instruction in Canada in French, also not including French immersion. The rights adhere to Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The CSF is a publicly-funded school board that operates across British Columbia. To have a French school, the community must have a significant number of children interested in attending to get funding from the Ministry of Education.

French parents went to the CSF, which decided they had enough interested students with 17 kids enrolled at that time. That number only accounted for about half of the eligible students in Golden, and is already growing as the school establishes itself.

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