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More student spaces coming to New Westminster

November 20, 2023 at 9:55 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

There will soon be room for more students in New Westminster with funding for renovations to create additional spaces.

“Our government is building and expanding schools throughout B.C., especially in fast-growing communities like New Westminster,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “Investing in our schools now helps our communities, students and families build a bright future as more people make B.C. their home.”

École Fraser River Middle School and École Qayqayt Elementary School will see room for 100 more students and four classrooms at each school through renovations that will open additional spaces for the New Westminster community. The Province is providing as much as $1.4 million for École Fraser River Middle School and about $1.2 million for École Qayqayt Elementary School, with students expected to start learning in the new classrooms in the 2025-26 school year.

“As more families choose to make New Westminster their home, our government is responding to the needs of our growing district and prioritizing investments that ensure students are learning in safe, positive and welcoming schools,” said Jennifer Whiteside, MLA for New Westminster. “These school-expansion projects are critical in supporting the next generation of New Westminster learners.”

Over the past six years, the provincial government announced 790 new student spaces in the New Westminster School District via $77.9 million in funding, including the new Skwo:wech Elementary, a seismic upgrade at Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary and the upcoming addition at Queen Elizabeth Elementary.

“We’re very grateful for the Province’s generous support in funding classroom expansions at École Fraser River Middle School and École Qayqayt Elementary School,” said Maya Russell, chair, New Westminster Board of Education. “The investment comes at a crucial time as the district struggles with the lack of space to accommodate our growing student population. These classrooms will welcome families from their neighbourhood catchment, so they do not have to travel across the city to go to school.”

Since September 2017, the Government of B.C. has announced 25,000 new student spaces and 35,000 seismically safer seats. The Province has provided approximately $4 billion for new and improved schools, as well as land purchases for future schools throughout the province.

Budget 2023 includes $3.4 billion for school capital projects over the next three years, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools.

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