Students and families on the Sunshine Coast are closer to having six new classrooms at West Sechelt Elementary school, along with a new child care facility, as construction is underway.
“No matter where they live, B.C. students deserve to learn in positive, engaging classrooms,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “Children and families throughout the province are seeing the results of our work to provide better learning environments where they’re needed and I’m excited to see that happening at West Sechelt Elementary, so students can soon say goodbye to portables.”
The Government of B.C. is providing $10.7 million for the 145-seat, six-classroom addition at West Sechelt Elementary, which also includes a new, 28-space child care facility at an on-site neighbourhood learning centre.
“Our government is making this investment to make sure more children in this community can learn in positive learning environments for years to come, and it’s good to see that work getting underway,” said Nicholas Simons, MLA for Sunshine Coast.
The Sunshine Coast School District is providing an additional $500,000 for the project, which is the first major school construction project in the district since 2014.
“We are so grateful for the Ministry of Education’s ongoing support and commitment of excellence to our students, staff and community,” said Pammila Ruth, chair, Sunshine Coast Board of Education. “As we celebrate the start of construction of the West Sechelt Elementary expansion, I am moved by the lasting impact this will have in serving the needs of many families in our community.”
With work beginning, the new classrooms and child care facility are expected to be complete in 2021 and will eliminate the need for portables on site.
“We are excited to see our school grow and allow better learning environments for all students,” said Aspen Wing, chair, West Sechelt Elementary parent advisory council. “This next chapter is a welcome change to our school and community.”
The investment in a classroom addition and child care facility at West Sechelt Elementary is part of government’s plan to build new and expanded schools in fast-growing communities throughout B.C.
“For too long, finding quality, affordable child care close to home has been a struggle for families,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Co-locating these new child care spaces on school grounds is convenient for parents at drop-off and pick-up times, and even more importantly, it helps children have a smoother transition into the school system, setting them on the path to lifelong learning.”
Since September 2017, the Province has announced over $735 million to add nearly 13,000 new student seats to give students a more positive learning experience.
To continue this momentum, Budget 2020 includes $2.8 billion for school capital projects including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools.