Recent History – 2001
Feb. 27, 2001
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
South Peace Secondary School (SPSS) will be home to two new post-secondary vocational programs starting in the next school year.
Auto collision and repair will focus on the procedures it takes to repair modern automobiles and trucks, and power equipment mechanics will teach students how to fix all terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and personal water-craft.
Both the programs will be run in partnership with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and will be in addition to the auto service technician program that has been taught at the school for about five years.
Work is about to begin on a 9,900 square-foot building on SPSS property that will house the auto collision and repair and the auto service and technician programs. The power equipment mechanics program will be taught in the area formerly reserved at SPSS for the auto service technician program.
Sam Barber, the school district’s director of operations, confirmed the power mechanics program during a school board meeting last week. Auto collision and repair had been confirmed a few months ago.
While the school district supplies the space, BCIT will supply the equipment and the instructor. Students who complete the programs will earn credit towards first-year post-secondary vocational program. “These are very top-end programs,” Barber said. “These are not run-of-the-mill shop programs.”
Barber also aired a bussing plan that would allow students from Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd to participate starting in February of the next school year. “We’ve got the busses there,” Barber said. “It’s just a matter of adding a few more kilometres to make sure they mesh.”
Gary Remenyk, the local BCIT chief instructor, said students are eligible to enter the program in their grade 11 year, provided they meet requirements. The second term of the BCIT program would begin at the start of their grade 12 years.
The students would spend all day, every day for a semester taking the program, and then concentrate on their high school courses in the next semester.
A maximum of 16 students can be enrolled in each program, and Remenyk said local people will be given preference in the search for instructors. “The goal is to hire local people providing they meet the requirements,” he said.
Those who pass are guaranteed a seat at BCIT, but Remenyk said that other post-secondary institutes, like the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology also accept the students.
BCIT teaches a power equipment mechanics program in Kelowna, according to Barber, who noted that SPSS is home to the only BCIT facility in northern British Columbia.