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Thousands of new student spaces coming to B.C. schools faster

December 5, 2023 at 12:36 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Twelve new school additions will mean more student spaces as early as the 2024-25 school year in fast-growing communities across the province.

“As more families make B.C. their home, we are finding the best solutions to deliver more classrooms as quickly as possible,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “We continue to make record investments in B.C.’s education system and these new additions will be delivered quickly to serve students for decades to come.”

Through a $156-million investment, the Ministry of Education and Child Care is adding 104 new classrooms, which is the equivalent of 2,535 new seats, to eight school districts. The new classrooms are expected to be ready for students as soon as fall 2024. Communities receiving the new additions include Kelowna, Dawson Creek, Langley, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langford and Colwood.

The prefabricated additions will get students into classrooms faster. With sustainable and energy-efficient designs, the additions align with the Province’s CleanBC targets and meet B.C.’s enhanced energy requirements.

Since September 2017, the B.C. government has provided more than $4 billion for new and improved schools as well as land purchases for future schools throughout the province. This has resulted in 25,000 new student spaces and 35,000 seismically safe seats at B.C. schools.

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. 

Quotes:

Megan Dykeman, MLA for Langley East –

“The Township of Langley is one of the fastest-growing communities in British Columbia. It is a place where people want to move and raise their families. I am thrilled that Richard Bulpitt Elementary will be receiving an addition to help address the increasing school enrolment in our community.”

Chad Anderson, chair, Peace River South Board of Education –

“Crescent Park Elementary has served Dawson Creek students for generations. This important investment gives future students in this growing neighbourhood the space they need to learn and succeed.”

Candy Ashdown, chair, Langley Board of Education –

“The Langley Board of Education is excited to be part of an innovative and efficient project that aims to help alleviate some of the enrolment pressures at Richard Bulpitt Elementary. We know this will have a positive impact on the health, safety and education of our students.”

Learn More:

For information about building schools in B.C., visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/administration/resource-management/capital-planning/mecs-building-schools-together-capital-project-initiatives-brochure.pdf

For information about major public school capital projects underway, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/major-capital-projects 

A backgrounder follows.

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