BURNABY, B.C — B.C. is planning to replace one of its largest schools with a $79.2 million new facility.
Rob Fleming, minister of education, recently announced the province will replace Burnaby North Secondary school. The new school will include seismic upgrades, space for child care, adult education rooms and space for language development programs.
“We are taking action to better protect Burnaby North students who have waited far too long for a new school,” Fleming said in a press release. “This new facility will bring countless benefits to the community and give students the best opportunity to succeed and help our province grow.”
The new, 1,800-seat school will be built on a different location on the current school’s property. This will allow students to remain in the existing school during construction. Construction is expected to wrap up in September 2021.
“Thanks to actions by our government, people in this community will have a modern, safe place to learn, while knowing they will be safe in the event of an earthquake,” said Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North.
Part of the plan includes a 2,000-square-metre neighbourhood learning centre to accommodate child care, adult education and language development programs. The province stated the centre will help fill service gaps in the community and improve options for families and adults looking to continue their education. The new Burnaby North Secondary will also be built to LEED Gold standards to increase energy efficiency.
The project was chosen as the school district’s highest priority due to its age, high seismic-risk rating and strong enrolment projections.
For years the province has been working on a backlog of schools that need repairing or replacing due to seismic concerns.
The province’s 2018 budget promised $2 billion in school capital projects over the next three years, including $541 million for seismic upgrades and replacements at schools throughout B.C.
Since September 2017, the province has approved a total of $823.3 million in capital projects, including $466.6 million for seismic upgrades or replacements.