A Maple Ridge elementary school is set to be replaced with a seismically safer facility with an additional nine new classrooms after provincial funding was approved.
The announcement was made Tuesday, Nov. 22 by the Minister of Education and Child Care, Jennifer Whiteside, that will see Eric Langton Elementary School expand to a total of 680 spaces in a building that will be built to LEED Gold standards, meaning the school will be designed with energy-saving measures in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Whiteside also noted that a new neighbourhood learning centre at the school will be used to provide services like child care and for community groups to deliver support services and programming in Maple Ridge.
“(It) is a great example of how schools are integrating services that benefit families, said Whiteside.
The province has committed $46.4 million for the new school, and the school district will contribute an additional $2.5 million.
Construction will start on the new school late 2023.
To minimize disruption, students and staff will remain in the current building while the new school is built on the existing gravel field.
“This is amazing news for our community,” said Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows school board chair Elaine Yamamoto.
“The board continues to advocate for safe and sustainable learning environments, and sincerely welcomes this investment in a modernized and expanded Eric Langton Elementary, which was identified as a priority in our recently completed strategic facilities plan. The neighbourhood learning centre included in this school is a welcome addition to the school community that will benefit children and families for many years to come.”
Throughout the design process, the school district will work with the Katzie and Kwantlen Nations to incorporate design elements that reflect Indigenous ways of knowing – such as the importance of storytelling, traditional ecological knowledge and local teachings that will forge a genuine connection between the school and the land.
Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith noted that Maple Ridge is a great place to raise a family and praised the government for making investments that support families in the community, now and into the future.
Recently the province also invested $3 million for seismic upgrades of Fairview Elementary and Westview Secondary, in addition to a $5.4 million commitment to purchase a site for a future school in the northeast Albion neighbourhood.
The 2022 budget will also include $3.1 billion for school capital projects over the next three years, for new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools across the province.
“I’m proud of the work our government is doing to build safer schools, and work with school districts to find beneficial solutions to help meet the demands of enrolment growth,” said Whiteside.
The new Eric Langton Elementary School is expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2025.
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