A new middle school in Winfield will help provide children in Lake Country with the quality public education they deserve, Premier John Horgan announced today.
“It is time for families in Lake Country to get the new school they have been hoping and waiting for, so their community can continue to grow while their kids thrive,” said Premier Horgan. “Investing in public schools is the right thing to do for families, for communities and for our province. It’s the key to a stronger economy and a brighter future for all of us.”
The Government of British Columbia is providing $35.1 million to build the school. The Central Okanagan School District will contribute $1.5 million to the project, in addition to the $3.8 million already spent on land for the new school.
“The new school will address the physical, social and intellectual needs of children in Lake Country, unlocking educational opportunities,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming. “We are moving quickly to get children out of portables and into classrooms by building the schools our growing communities desperately need.”
The new Lake Country middle school is scheduled to open in September 2021, with 600 new spaces for students in grades 6 to 8. It will be built on district-owned property south of George Elliot Secondary school, and will include a neighbourhood learning centre for the community.
“This new middle school will allow us to continue building a district-wide grade configuration that suits learners at all levels,” said Moyra Baxter, chairperson of the Central Okanagan Board of Education. "It will also relieve some of the pressure on our schools so we can serve learners in the growing community of Lake Country for years to come."
Lake Country’s schools are operating at 125% capacity, and enrolment forecasts show a shortfall of 368 seats by 2026.
Adding a new middle school addresses the shortfall by adding additional spaces and allowing the district to move to a grade configuration that includes middle schools across the Central Okanagan.
Government is working with school boards and local governments to get students out of portables and into classrooms as quickly as possible by accelerating funding approvals and speeding up school construction.
- Construction on the new Lake Country middle school is expected to begin in May 2019.
- The Central Okanagan School District purchased the property for the new school, and the Aspen Grove Golf Course, for $3.8 million. The intention is to convert the golf course property into a playfield for both the new middle school and George Elliot Secondary school.
- Neighbourhood learning centres offer space for community organizations to provide access to education, community services, recreation and culture.
To find out more about the Government of B.C.’s education capital planning program: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/administration/resource-management/capital-planning