Today, Minister of Education Mike Bernier announced $20.5 million of funding for School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) to build an elementary school in the Smiling Creek neighborhood of Burke Mountain. Watch a video here.
Minister Bernier along with school district Board Chair Judy Shirra, Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA Linda Reimer and Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart made the announcement at the future site of the new school.
The announcement was part of Bernier’s regional school district tour and was made after meeting earlier in the day with district trustees and leadership, and touring two schools (Eagle Mountain Middle and Heritage Woods Secondary) to see some of the innovative learning taking place in this successful school district.
"We are very pleased to receive funding to build an elementary school at Smiling Creek to serve the families of Burke Mountain. We appreciate the support of this government in recognizing the need for new schools in our large and fast-growing district," said Judy Shirra, Board Chair.
The 3,700-square-metre two-story school will provide 430 student spaces (80 kindergarten and 350 elementary), as well as a Neighbourhood Learning Centre. Students, families and community members of Burke Mountain will benefit from this new school due to its multi-use model – school, joint-use field, and park.
The new school and attached amenities are a partnership between the Government of BC, the Coquitlam School District, and the City of Coquitlam. As part of the partnership, the city will build a park and grass sports field next to the school that students will have access to through a joint-use agreement between the city and the school district.
The district is taking innovative and creative steps in the development of new schools. These innovative approaches to partnering and fiscal responsibility are helping the district save taxpayers money, and the district’s commitment to environmental responsibility is helping keep debris out of landfills by moving houses for re-use versus demolishing them.
"A great deal of work was done by many of our staff and partners over a long period but we are now one giant step closer to having our first of several schools on Burke Mountain," added Patricia Gartland, School District Superintendent.
The project is expected to go to tender in spring 2016, and is scheduled to open in September 2018.
- Government is providing $17.6 million and the school district is providing $2.9 million to the $20.5-million project.
- The school district provided approximately $4.8 million and the city $5.15 million to purchase land for the school.
- School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) is the 3rd largest school district in BC.
- Over 30,000 students attend 70 schools in five areas: Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra.
- SD43 has some of the BC’s highest student achievement outcomes.
- The Tri-Cities region has significant residential development and population growth leading to a growth in students.