The new $26.2-million Yorkson-area middle school took a big leap toward its anticipated opening date today as Langley MLA Mary Polak joined community stakeholders in officially breaking ground on the barren site.
The addition of a middle school to the Langley school district will help ease enrolment pressures in the growing Willoughby neighbourhood by serving as a transition school between elementary and secondary schools. When the project is complete, Willoughby-area elementary schools will reconfigure to K-5 while the local secondary school, R.E. Mountain, will reconfigure for grades 9 to 12.
When completed next September, the new school will have capacity for 750 grade 6 to 8 students and will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards. Space for a Neighbourhood Learning Centre will also be part of the building's design, offering a range of community programming to local families.
Yorkson-area middle school is part of a $353-million school capital plan announced by Premier Christy Clark in October 2011. As part of the plan, four school additions, one new middle school, two new secondary schools and six school site purchases were committed across seven B.C. school districts.
Two additional capital projects are also at varying stages in the district - Lynn Fripps Elementary was officially opened in February while Richard Bulpitt Elementary is expected to welcome students this September.
Don McRae, Minister of Education -
"With the Langley school district one of the few in the province seeing an increase in K to 7 enrolment, middle schools such as Yorkson-area will soon be more important than ever in transitioning the growing elementary school population on to high school. I'm very pleased to see work begin here and I know it will be a welcomed addition for families in this area."
Rich Coleman, MLA for Fort Langley-Aldergrove -
"Making sure Langley families have the opportunity to send their children to quality, modern schools is of the utmost importance. As our township continues to grow we must provide the infrastructure to match and a project like Yorkson-area middle is going to do exactly that."
Mary Polak, MLA for
"This empty lot will soon be a hub for hundreds of Langley students and residents. I'm honoured to have been a part of this groundbreaking as we check another milestone off the list for Yorkson-area middle school."
Wendy Johnson, Langley board of education chair -
"This is an exciting time in Langley as Yorkson-area middle school joins the recently opened Lynn Fripps Elementary and the soon-to-be-opened Richard Bulpitt Elementary as major capital investments in the district. We're thrilled to see things progress at this site, a groundbreaking is a significant step forward and we'll continue to work with the ministry to achieve our opening date of next September."
- There are more than 19,000 elementary, secondary and graduated adult students in the Langley school district.
- Since 2001, the government of B.C. has invested more than $44.3 million in the Langley school district on capital projects.
- Since 2001, the government has spent more than $2.4 billion to complete capital projects, including 96 new and replacement schools, 151 additions, 27 renovations and 25 site acquisitions throughout B.C. All new and replacement schools have been constructed to meet the latest seismic standards.
- Since 2001, the government has committed more than $4 billion to school capital and maintenance projects throughout B.C.
Langley school district: http://www.sd35.bc.ca/pages/default.aspx
BC's Education Plan: www.bcedplan.ca
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education