Dreams became reality for Samuel Brighouse Elementary students, who walked through the doors of their new school today.
The $16.4-million Samuel Brighouse Elementary, which replaces the old school on the same site, has been built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold standards and will also be a future Neighbourhood Learning Centre.
When students found out that their existing school would be replaced by a new school, they were excited. To involve them in the planning process, students were asked to draw and design their dream school. Several of their ideas have been included in the new school:
- Floor-to-ceiling windows on the main level and oversized windows on the second floor to maximize natural daylight and allow students to see outside.
- A community garden with trees and flowers for students to enjoy during recess and lunch breaks to increase their connection to nature.
- Solar panels to provide hot water and help heat the building.
- A living roof to use as a teaching tool.
The new school will reduce energy use by at least 45 per cent, and a rainwater cistern will help reduce water use by at least 50 per cent. The school has a capacity for 525 students - 100 full-day kindergarten and 425 in grades 1-7. The new classrooms have been completed as phase one of construction. Students will settle into their classes as phase two - the school's Neighbourhood Learning Centre, renovated gymnasium and multi-purpose room - is being completed.Quick Facts:
- Samuel Brighouse Elementary, built in 1965, was replaced as part of the Province's seismic Mitigation Plan because the replacement was more cost-effective than substantial upgrades to the existing building.
- The Richmond school district is working with community partners to finalize the programs and services that will be offered through the Samuel Brighouse Neighbourhood Learning Centre. So far, the Neighbourhood Learning Centre will include:
- Before- and after-school care for students.
- A Community Literacy Centre that will include family literacy programs targeted to provide services to families who are new to Canada.
- A community garden.
- Wood was used as the primary building material in the school, and the main school building contains B.C.-sourced wood, including the school's undulating roof, to demonstrate government's commitment to British Columbia's Wood First Act.
- There are currently 17 Neighbourhood Learning Centres in various stages of being built as part of capital projects at B.C. schools.
- All school districts are encouraged to adopt this inclusive approach to planning the use of school space by including elements of Neighbourhood Learning Centres that offer community programs and services in all new and replacement schools.
- Since 2001, capital and seismic projects worth almost $72 million have been completed in the Richmond school district, including the replacement of Steveston London Secondary and Richmond Secondary, the new A.R. MacNeill Secondary, and seismic upgrades to Garden City Elementary.
- During that same period, government has spent more than $1.8 billion to complete 83 new and replacement schools, 149 additions, 26 renovations and 22 site acquisitions across B.C.
- By the end of 2010-11, the Province will have committed more than $3.9 billion in school capital and maintenance projects throughout B.C.
- B.C. Neighbourhood Learning Centres: www.neighbourhoodlearningcentres.gov.bc.ca/
- B.C.'s Seismic Mitigation Program: www.bced.gov.bc.ca/capitalplanning/seismic/
- To see the architect's project page for Samuel Brighouse Elementary: www.brighouse.ca/
Public Affairs Bureau
Ministry of Education