School district weighs cost of B.C. Games

Okanagan Skaha School District unsure what effect 2016 B.C. Winter Games will have on its budget

It’s too early too say how much its participation in the 2016 B.C. Winter Games in Penticton will cost the cash-strapped Okanagan Skaha School District.

“It’s hard to measure,” secretary-treasurer Ron Shongrunden said at Monday’s school board meeting.

The board received at the meeting a letter from the City of Penticton that thanked the district in advance for its continued support of the games, which are scheduled to take place Feb. 25-28, 2016.

Attached to the letter is a timeline provided by the B.C. Games Society that lays out key milestones in the planning process. The first major step listed is the appointment of a board of directors in May 2014.

Shongrunden said the school district expects to provide in-kind donations, like the use of its facilities and buses, and will likely work with students and staff to provide volunteers. He said the district provided transportation services to a previous summer games at cost of $10,000.

“That may not happen this time though,” he said. “Each one is different.”

The school boards has begun deliberation on its 2013-14 budget and is facing a funding shortfall estimated at $1 million.

When it announced the Penticton event in January, the B.C. Games Society said it expects the event will attract 2,100 athletes, coaches and officials who will participate in 18 different sports, and result in a $1.8-million boost to the local economy.

 

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