Students at Nanaimo’s Dover Bay Secondary school will have four new classrooms to learn in once a renovation to their school is complete in 2022.
“Nanaimo is a wonderful place to raise a family, and as more children start attending school, we must provide them with dynamic learning environments,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “That’s why we’re adding more capacity to Dover Bay Secondary, so more students can learn in classrooms rather than portables, as we continue improving schools for students in every corner of our province.”
The Government of B.C. is investing $2.6 million to renovate existing, underused space at Dover Bay Secondary. Along with four new classrooms, there will be a project-based learning hub, a fitness area and a gender-neutral washroom. Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is contributing an additional $400,000 towards the cost of the project. The renovation will eliminate the need for four portables at the school and provide a better learning experience for 100 students.
“Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is experiencing significant growth, especially in the area around Dover Bay Secondary,” said Charlene McKay, chair, Nanaimo-Ladysmith Board of Education. “The board of education thanks the provincial government for providing funding that will optimize under-utilized space at one of the largest schools in the district. The district looks forward to working with the Ministry of Education over the coming years to proactively address our anticipated capacity concerns.”
Construction on the new classrooms is expected to begin in September 2021 and will not disrupt learning at the school. The classrooms are scheduled to be ready for students in March 2022, providing flexible, modern, project-based learning environments to support 21st-century learning for students and staff.
“The Nanaimo north region is a great place to raise a family and is growing. Our government is committed to supporting students and staff by providing school spaces to meet their needs,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “Our continued progress making investments will give students the best chance to succeed. I can’t wait to see students in my community learning in new classrooms at Dover Bay.”
Since September 2017, the Province has approved nearly $40 million to improve schools for students in Nanaimo. This includes a 295-seat addition at Hammond Bay Elementary and seismic upgrades at Cilaire and Pleasant Valley elementary schools. Construction on these upgrades is expected to be underway later in June 2021.
“Cilaire and Pleasant Valley elementary schools are important parts of our community and to see progress on their upgrades is so exciting for families in Nanaimo,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo. “I can’t wait to see students at these schools learning in an environment that will make sure they are protected in an earthquake.”
Building new classrooms at Dover Bay Secondary is an example of government’s record investments in B.C. schools. In the past four years, the Province has approved more than $2.3 billion for school construction projects and land purchases, which are adding 14,250 new student seats to schools in fast-growing communities throughout B.C.
To support this momentum, Budget 2021 includes $3.5 billion over three years for school capital investments.