Students, families and the Burke Mountain community will soon benefit from the new $20.5-million Smiling Creek Elementary School, thanks to a partnership between the Government of B.C., the Coquitlam School District and the City of Coquitlam.
The 3,700-square-metre two-storey school will provide 430 student spaces: 80 kindergarten and 350 elementary, as well as a Neighbourhood Learning Centre. In addition, the city is building a park and grass sports field next to the school that students will have access to as part of an agreement between the city and the school district.
Minister of Education Mike Bernier, Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA Linda Reimer, school board chair Judy Shirra, and Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart met at the future site of the new facility today to announce the project agreement for the new school. The announcement was part of Bernier’s ongoing regional school district tour.
Government is providing $17.6 million and the school district is providing $2.9 million towards the project. The city provided $5.15 million and the school district provided $4.8 million for the purchase of the land. The project is expected to go to tender in spring 2016, and the school scheduled to open in September 2018.
The project will put apprentices to work under B.C.'s Apprentices on Public Projects Policy, as part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. This policy ensures government is helping more young people in British Columbia connect with skills training and apprenticeship opportunities. By hiring apprentices, contractors on these projects are training the next generation of skilled workers needed to keep B.C.’s economy diverse, strong and growing.
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“It’s been a long process to get to where we are today and I want to thank our partners and local MLA’s for helping to bring us a giant step closer to making this new school a reality. Smiling Creek Elementary will ensure Burke Mountain kids will have the learning space they need to thrive and succeed.”
Linda Reimer, MLA for Port Moody - Coquitlam –
“I’m excited and encouraged to see the teamwork involved to move this project forward. This special partnership between Wesbild, the City of Coquitlam, School Board 43 and the provincial government helped to make this happen. It demonstrates that when we all work together, we achieve more, and today’s announcement is the next step in making Smiling Creek Elementary School a reality for families, students and the community of Burke Mountain.”
Judy Shirra, board chair, Coquitlam School District –
“School District 43 (Coquitlam) is very pleased to receive funding to build an elementary school at Smiling Creek to serve the families of Burke Mountain. We appreciate the support of this government in recognizing the need for new schools in our large and fast-growing district.”
Richard Stewart, Mayor, City of Coquitlam –
“The City of Coquitlam could not be more excited that capital funding is now in place for Smiling Creek Elementary. This is a concrete step in bringing the first school to Burke Mountain and will also provide a joint-use park site that we know will be a valuable asset in this part of our community. I look forward to watching this project become a reality over the coming months as we work hard with our partners, including School District 43 and the Province, on building an outstanding and complete community.”
- Bernier will visit 27 schools throughout the province, during November and December 2015, to see B.C.’s new curriculum in action and the innovative learning taking place in B.C. classrooms.
- Since 2001, the Province has invested more than $167 million in capital projects in the Coquitlam School District.
- Since 2001, more than $4.2 billion has been committed to school capital and maintenance projects throughout British Columbia.
- As part of the Routine Capital Program, government is investing almost $720,000 this year to improve and upgrade schools in the Coquitlam School District.
New curriculum: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/
BC’s Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/
Coquitlam School District (SD43): http://ow.ly/V2CFn
Neighbourhood Learning Centres: http://ow.ly/UUlV0
Apprentices on Public Projects: http://ow.ly/UUlNg
Follow Minister Bernier around the province and get an insider’s look at what’s happening in B.C. schools: https://news.gov.bc.ca/stories/berniers-back-on-tour