Aging Ministik School east of Sherwood Park to close in June

An aging school in Strathcona County will be closed at the end of the year despite protests from parents, the Elk Island Public School Board decided Thursday.

The board said it cannot afford to rebuild or renovate the 66-year-old Ministik School, 30 kilometres east of Sherwood Park on Highway 14 in Strathcona County.

Last summer, an inspection detected lead in one of the drinking fountains in the main building and water damage and mould in some of the school's portable classroom.

The 125 students will be reassigned to Fultonvale Elementary Junior High, 16 kilometres away.

Last month, more than 100 people attending a meeting about the school's future voiced their frustration over the proposed closure.

Some said they were worried about long transportation times to get to other schools and about bigger class sizes at those schools.

The board said it carefully reviewed its options and the feedback from the community.

"EIPS is committed to working closely with students and their families to ensure the transition to the new school is handled smoothly," a release from the district said.

The board considered closing the school in 2002, but under pressure from parents decided to keep it open.