Nelson city officials have approved a request from Hume Elementary School to build an “outdoor learning facility” at the back of the school.
The pavilion-style facility will be located behind the gymnasium at the south end of the school, adjacent to Third Street.
School District 8 superintendent Trish Smilie says the pavilion will offer students the opportunity to learn outdoors, even during poor weather conditions.
“The space can be used for learning in all different subject areas. Nature has a lot of things to teach us and being outdoors and being able to incorporate the environment into learning can cross all subject areas.”
Smillie also says the pavilion will be available for members of the community to use after school hours.
“School grounds are often used by the community after school hours as a central point in the neighborhood and I would expect this space will be used in a similar way by members of the community taking advantage of our public facilities.”
The project will be the first of its kind at Hume Elementary and Smilie says both students and faculty have responded positively since the project’s announcement.
“People at Hume school are very excited to have such an opportunity to have an outdoor learning space in the school, it’s the first of its kind at Hume Elementary so it’s very exciting.”
The pavilion, which will be located on city land, does require the school to obtain a license of occupation, a development variance permit and a building permit, all of which require fees.
The fee for a development variance permit is approximately $500 and the building permit fee was estimated to be around $505 with an additional $600 damage deposit.
On top of the permit fees, the school would be responsible to pay an annual license of occupation fee which would be around $3,750 a year.
Last week at council, School District 8 representatives asked the city to waive all the fees associated with the project. Their request was approved, which will now allow Hume Elementary School to move forward with the pavilion at a lower cost.