The B.C. government has invested almost $353 million in building and upgrading 16 total facilities across the province ahead of the upcoming school year with two of these new schools located on Vancouver Island.
Ahead of the 2021-22 school year, new schools will be opened for Vancouver Island students in both Saanich and Courtenay.
In Saanich, the Province — along with Saanich Board of Education — invested $4.2 million into the creation of a new building at the Children’s Development Centre, located at 735 Cordova Bay Rd.
The new building will include seismic upgrades as well as an expanded offering of mental health resources for the district.
The full replacement of the Children’s Development Centre will also become the home to the district’s Alternate Learning Program.
The project also includes the addition of a Neighbourhood Learning Centre, which will provide a new space for Beacon Community Services and the Saanich School District to offer expanded mental health supports for children and families in the community.
In Courtenay, a new and improved Lake Trail Middle school will open to students starting in September.
The facility received a partial upgrade, bringing in safer and more modernized classrooms. The B.C. government has estimated the project to be approximately $27.2 million.
“Every child deserves the best learning experience possible, and every teacher deserves the right environment to nurture young minds,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “From Day 1, our government has made investments in students and schools a top priority and now families are seeing the concrete result of our work and our commitment to students in B.C. with new and improved schools that will better support their success.”
New schools will also be opening on Hornby Island and Sechelt as part of the government investment.
In total, the government says that more than 8,600 students will benefit this year from school upgrades.
Budget 2021 includes almost $3.5 billion for school capital investments, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and site purchases to ensure land is in place to accommodate fast-growing communities throughout the province.