Good news is on the way for students and families in Abbotsford, as construction has begun on a new elementary school that will also provide child care spaces for the community.
“Families deserve to have schools and child care close to home, so children can spend their days in environments that are designed for modern learning,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “Our government is making forward-thinking investments to provide new schools that benefit families in growing communities like Abbotsford, and I’m excited to know that shovels are in the ground to build this facility for local families.”
The Government of B.C. is providing $24.7 million for the new, 460-seat Eagle Mountain Elementary school. The Abbotsford School District is contributing an additional $2.5 million.
With construction underway, the school is set to open its doors to students in September 2022. This will reduce enrolment pressure at nearby schools as more families move to the area and will eliminate the need for nearly 20 portables in the district.
“People in our community can’t wait for a new school to open on Eagle Mountain, so more students can spend their days in better learning environments that help them thrive,” said Pam Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission. “Our government is taking action to make sure we are supporting students and families by investing in local schools that benefit communities.”
The new school will also include a new neighbourhood learning centre. The centre will provide dedicated space for before- and after-school care, along with a large, centrally located multipurpose space for community use. With funding from the Province’s Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, there will be nearly 100 child care spaces opening at the new school.
The new Eagle Mountain Elementary school will be an inclusive community amenity, providing child care for infant-toddlers, preschool and school-aged children in the community.
“Investing in early care and learning is not simply good for families – especially mothers – it’s vital to building strong communities and supporting B.C.’s economy,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Eagle Mountain’s new child care spaces will offer parents convenience and peace of mind knowing their kids are receiving quality care in one place for the day, while also supporting children with a smooth transition into the K-12 system.”
In addition to the new school, the Province is also providing $18.9 million for seismic upgrades at Abbotsford Traditional school. The upgrades are also expected to be complete in September 2022 and give 750 students a safer place to go to school.
“We are very pleased to have a new school coming to the Abbotsford School District in 2022,” said Stan Petersen, chair, Abbotsford Board of Education. “Abbotsford has experienced exceptional growth over the last decade, and this new school will alleviate high capacity and projected future enrolment in the Eagle Mountain neighbourhood. We look forward to providing students and families with a modern and innovative learning space and accessible child care spaces.”
These investments are part of government’s work to build new and improved schools throughout the province, with more than $2.2 billion announced in less than four years for school construction or land purchases for future schools. This includes 39 new or expanded schools that are adding 13,280 new student seats to fast-growing B.C. communities.