A Kimberley company is hoping to raise $50 million to build an independent school for international students.
Purcell International Education Limited has invited Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick on a trip to China to speak with potential investors in Hong Kong and Guangdong.
McCormick says their goal is to convince investors that an independent school can and should be located here in the East Kootenay.
“This is the initial step, they have to raise the money, and its a substantial amount of money, in order for this thing to get legs underneath it,” McCormick says. “That’s the purpose of this trip, to raise the money. Once you have the money, anything can be done.”
The independent school is in early discussions.
Purcell International Education Limited projects this kind of facility could generate over $20 million a year in annual revenue and $10 million in mostly local spending by students and their parents.
The facility would potentially serve as a campus for up to 450 students from around the world to come to the city for year-round education.
McCormick says Kimberley has several advantages as a potential site for the project.
“Its no secret that the cost of doing this kind of business out in the Lower Mainland is probably an order of magnitude higher than it is out here,” McCormick says. “At the end of the day, money talks.”
McCormick says the international education program in Kimberley has been very successful, with the community attractive to students from abroad.
He says the program could grow if a new school were built here.
– Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick