Students and staff in North Vancouver have more than just a new year to celebrate as they return to school this week.
For the first time, they will attend the new, seismically safe Argyle Secondary school.
“Every student deserves the best learning experience possible in a school that is seismically safe and will help them thrive in their education,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “I’m very excited for the students of North Vancouver who now have a positive, engaging and inspiring place to learn. Our government will continue to make critical investments to build new and improved schools so even more students have that opportunity.”
The replacement of Argyle Secondary is a $61.7-million project funded by the Province of B.C. through the Seismic Mitigation Program, including a $11.6-million contribution from the North Vancouver School District.
The school opened to students on Jan. 5, 2021, after two years of construction. The former school will be demolished by the North Vancouver School District and replaced by a new turf field funded by the District of North Vancouver.
The new Argyle Secondary provides students and teachers with a 21st-century learning experience through improvements to the school’s safety, accessibility, sustainability, energy efficiency and modern learning.
“I’m thrilled students and families in North Vancouver's Argyle catchment now have the new school they’ve been waiting for,” said Susie Chant, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour. “I’m proud our government took action to add the necessary funds to replace the aging school campus, an example of what we can accomplish through strong collaboration in school communities.”
Since September 2017, the Province has announced over $2.1 billion in school construction and property purchases for B.C. schools, including $105 million in North Vancouver. This includes seismic upgrades at Mountainview Secondary and the replacement of Handsworth Secondary. The new Handsworth Secondary is expected to be complete by September 2022, with the entire project, including demolition and site improvements, completed by summer 2023.
Provincewide, the Seismic Mitigation Program has provided upgrades or replacements at 51 schools in the last three and a half years, ensuring seismically safe learning spaces for nearly 30,000 B.C. students. Government is accelerating the Seismic Mitigation Program to provide a seismically safe school for every B.C. student as soon as possible.
To continue this momentum, Budget 2020 included a record $2.8 billion for school capital projects over three years.
Mark Pearmain, superintendent, North Vancouver School District –
“Connection and collaboration are two important themes that resonated throughout the construction of the new Argyle Secondary school. This state-of-the-art school – the building, spaces and grounds – is a product of both community input and consultation with students and staff. The connection to nature, the multi-purpose space, the learning communities and the integration of technology are but a few of the features that collectively reflect a positive, healthy and modern learning environment, which facilitates an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning.”
George Tsiakos, chair, North Vancouver Board of Education –
“We are grateful to have partnered with the Ministry of Education, which early on in the project, recognized the need to both rebuild and seismically upgrade Argyle Secondary school. The completion of the new Argyle Secondary supports the North Vancouver School District’s vision to provide welcoming, safe and sustainable facilities that enhance the learning and teaching environment. With this major milestone reached, we could not be more pleased for the Argyle Secondary school community.”
Tannis Hendriks, chair, Argyle Secondary’s Parent Advisory Council –
“We are thrilled for the Argyle Secondary school community, kicking off the new year in a brand-new school. On behalf of the Argyle Parent Advisory Council, I would like to thank both the Ministry of Education and North Vancouver School District for working together to build a school that is safe, accessible, sustainable and supports the current and future learning and teaching needs of students and educators, respectively.”
For a virtual tour of the new school: https://vimeo.com/492354999?ref=em-share
For more information about the Argyle Secondary School replacement project:
For more information about Argyle Secondary:
For more information about the Handsworth Secondary replacement: