A new 1,200-seat secondary school in West Kelowna will provide students with a modern place to learn by 2027.
“We know students benefit from learning in vibrant spaces built for 21st-century learning, where students can follow their aspirations and thrive,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “We have worked closely with the Central Okanagan School Board to invest in a new school that meets the needs of families in the community, now and for future generations.”
The Government of B.C. is providing $102.7 million to build the new school while the Central Okanagan School District will contribute $3 million. The school will include a neighbourhood learning centre that can be used for community programming, such as child care, Indigenous or cultural services, and children and family resources.
The school will be built with enhanced greenhouse gas reduction strategies, which will be achieved through high-efficiency HVAC and lighting systems. It is also being designed with future climate impacts in mind as it will incorporate non-combustible materials in construction.
“The board of education thanks the Ministry of Education for approving a new 1,200-capacity secondary school to support growing enrolment on the Westside,” said Moyra Baxter, chair of the Central Okanagan board of education. “This new school will address the significant capacity issues and increasing number of portables at Mount Boucherie Secondary school. The entire community looks forward to providing input on how the new school can meet the needs of our students as well as serving as a community hub.”
The school will be built on the site of the existing George Pringle Elementary facility. Current students will be moved to nearby schools, including Webber Road Elementary, which will reopen to students in September 2022.
With funding approved, the new school is expected to be under construction by 2025 and ready for students by September 2027. It will be the first new secondary school to open in the Central Okanagan School District since 2002, when Kelowna Secondary school was replaced.
“Parents and the community are thrilled for the announcement of this new school,” says Simon Adams, president of the Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Council. “The Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Council appreciates the government's ongoing support to provide new student spaces throughout our community, which is the fastest-growing community in Canada.”
This project is part of government’s commitment to improve schools for students and staff throughout B.C.
Since September 2017, the Province has approved more than $2.6 billion for new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools. This includes $153.5 million in the Central Okanagan for the new West Kelowna Secondary, the new H.S. Grenda Middle school, as well as a land purchase for a new school in Kelowna’s Wilden neighbourhood.