The B.C. government is providing over $30 million for the construction of two new schools in New Westminster, Education Minister George Abbott announced.
Abbott met with school district officials late yesterday afternoon to sign official project agreements for both schools. (Photo: http://flic.kr/p/bzqtys )
A new elementary school will be constructed on the site of the former St. Mary's Hospital on Royal Avenue in New Westminster. The site was purchased with provincial funds in 2010 for $8.5 million. This new school project has a construction budget of $13.5 million.
The school will provide five kindergarten classes and 18 elementary classes for 100 full-day kindergarten students and 450 students in grades 1 to 5. Construction of the school is scheduled to begin this fall, and it is expected to open in early 2014.
The new West Side Middle school will be constructed at the current site of John Robson Elementary school on Eighth Street in New Westminster. The project has a construction budget of $17.6 million. The new school will provide 20 classrooms for 500 students in grades 6 to 8.
By providing additional learning space for Grade 8 students, the new school will also ease enrolment pressure at New Westminster Secondary. Construction of the new middle school will begin in the fall/winter of 2013-14 and it is expected to open in fall 2015.
Both schools will include Neighbourhood Learning Centres to provide additional services to support children, families and area residents throughout the year. These services will include early childhood development, child-care and family counselling programs, as well as English Language Learning, health services and cross-generational drop-in programs.
George Abbott, Minister of Education:
"These two new schools will provide a modern learning environment for New Westminster's growing student community and will include Neighbourhood Learning Centres to provide a broad range of services to local families."
James Janzen, chair, New Westminster board of education:
"Children and parents in New Westminster will welcome the addition of these educational facilities which will help us meet the needs of young learners while providing significant benefits to others in the community as well."
"We're delighted that the B.C. government is providing the funding needed to build these two new schools in our area."
- Since 2001, government has spent more than $2.1 billion to complete 93 new and replacement schools, 150 additions, 27 renovations and 22 site acquisitions.
BC's Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education