The Province of British Columbia and the Ministry of Education today announced funding for a new elementary school in Coquitlam's Burke Mountain and three classroom additions for other School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) schools.
Totaling $73.3 million, the announcement includes a new elementary school for the Sheffield-Partington area of North Coquitlam to ease crowding in current schools and account for rapid growth in the region. Also included are classroom additions at École Dr. Charles Best Secondary valued at $8.4 million, École Panorama Heights Elementary valued at $5.7 million and École Westwood Elementary valued at $6.2 million. This announcement amounts to an additional 820 classroom seats to district schools in need of learning space.
Board Chair Barb Hobson expressed her appreciation and said, "As a fast-growing community we value classroom spaces in the form of a new elementary school for the Burke Mountain community and building additions to École Dr. Charles Best Secondary, École Panorama Heights Elementary and École Westwood Elementary. The Board of Education is committed to fostering a sustainable educational organization and world-class educational opportunities - part of that is ensuring that we have world-class school facilities for students."
"We must also acknowledge the wonderful relationships we have with our local municipalities", continued SD43 Superintendent Patricia Gartland, "on Burke Mountain, Smiling Creek Elementary is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when school districts and municipalities work together. Funding from the Province and School District built this school and play area, while the City of Coquitlam funded the field and park space. The school uses this beautiful facility during school hours, and the community uses it during the evening and weekends. This mutually beneficial partnership uses tax-payer funds wisely and this truly benefits the communities we serve."
Education Minister Rob Fleming commented that School District No. 43 was in an advanced position to complete these projects on budget and on time, in part because of its close work with the ministry, the municipalities in addition to the district staff that continue to work ahead on preparations even before funding is secured.
The new elementary school on Burke Mountain is scheduled to open to students in 2021. The Westwood Elementary expansion will be complete in 2020, while Panorama Heights' and Dr. Charles Best Secondary's expansions are expected to be complete in 2021.