A new Quesnel Junior school (QJS) will give students the 21st-century learning environment they deserve in a safe and modern facility.
“Quesnel families deserve to send their children to safe schools, and our government is making sure they can,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “We acted fast to renovate Maple Drive Junior school as a short-term safety solution for students, and now students and the community can look forward to a brand-new school that will benefit families with a modern learning environment for decades to come.”
The Government of B.C. is providing up to $52.2 million to replace QJS with a new facility at the site of the current Maple Drive Junior Secondary school. The Quesnel School District is contributing $150,000 toward the project, which also includes the addition of a new neighbourhood learning centre that will provide child care and other local community programming.
“By partnering with school districts to create new licensed child care spaces, we can strengthen communities across the province and bring more services that parents need right to their doorstep,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Families already have a lot on their plates and anything that eases their stress is a bonus. Adding much-needed child care spaces to Quesnel Junior school will provide one convenient location for parents to drop-off their kids and give younger kids the chance to adjust to the school environment.”
The new school will have room for 550 students in grades 8 and 9 and will be built on the existing Maple Drive Junior school property. Work is expected to begin on the new school in summer 2020, and for the school to be ready for students in September 2022.
This investment is the first major school capital project in Quesnel since 1997, and will give students the safe school they have been waiting for.
”The Quesnel Board of Education is pleased to have a new school and neighbourhood learning centre coming to our community” said Gloria Jackson, chair, Quesnel Board of Education. “Quesnel Junior school students have deserved a new school for years. We have been advocating for replacement for 15 years and are thankful this government acted on this need. We look forward to providing students and families with a safe, modern and innovative learning environment.”
After structural issues were found at QJS in 2017, the Province provided $1.7 million to renovate the then-closed Maple Drive Junior school as a short-term solution to ensure QJS students would have a safe learning environment. With a long-term solution now approved, every grade 8 and 9 student in Quesnel will soon be learning in a modern facility that allows students and staff to take full advantage of B.C.’s new curriculum.
With this project approved, the Province has announced $1.5 billion in school capital projects for new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and land purchases for future schools since September 2017.
Budget 2019 includes a record $2.7 billion for school capital funding over the next three years to continue this momentum.
- The new QJS will be a two-storey facility built to the current B.C. Building Code and in alignment with LEED Gold standards, providing additional energy savings throughout the life of the school.
- It will include new parking stalls and a pickup/drop-off area for buses.
- The new neighbourhood learning centre will have space to offer infant-toddler and before- and after-school child care.
- The future use of the former QJS site will be determined by the Province in the months ahead to ensure the community receives the most benefit from the site.
- The current Maple Drive school will be demolished once the new school is open to students.
For more information about major school capital projects in B.C.: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/major-capital-projects