Proposals to expand and build schools across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows by SD42 have been outlined in a Draft Strategic Facilities Plan.
Recommendations were made to add nine new classrooms to Eric Langton Elementary School and 10 to Harry Hooge elementary. And there were further recommendations that the Maple Ridge Secondary Annex be seismically upgraded, renovated, and reopened as an elementary school with a capacity for 390 students.
The district also mentioned they have earmarked property in Silver Valley for a new school, but need approval from the Ministry of Education for the acquisition and development of the site.
School board chair Korleen Carreras noted the board is recommending and submitting a formal request to the Ministry for the expansion of Samuel Robertson Secondary School – that would add 28 new classrooms for an additional 700 secondary spaces, reducing the need for portables, with an expected completion date in September 2028.
“The addition of 28 classrooms to this facility would accommodate enrolment growth in the East Capital Zone out to 2035,” she explained, adding that no additional school site acquisitions are being recommended for the West Capital and Central Capital zones.
The school district owns property northeast of Albion that has also been designated for a new elementary school.
If this project is approved in 2024, a new school with a capacity of 660 spaces will open in September 2029.
They are also planning for an expansion of Blue Mountain Elementary that would add 333 spaces.
If this addition is approved in 2024, the additional spaces will be available for September 2026.
In Pitt Meadows, increased enrollment is anticipated to accelerate by the district because of the development of the North Lougheed area. The district expects new residential units will be built at an average rate of 125 units per year between 2030 and 2035, and will result in increased enrollment at Highland Park elementary and Pitt Meadows secondary.
By 2035, elementary schools in the city will need an additional 99 spaces. However, the district noted current portables can hold an additional 138 spaces that should be adequate until 2031.
In the long term, the district might consider building a new elementary school on a district-owned site along Bonson Road, but not before 2035.
The district does expect Pitt Meadows secondary will need an additional 18 spaces by 2030 and will continue to grow along with population growth of the North Lougheed area.
However, the school district concluded there is no projected need for an additional elementary or secondary space in this zone in the foreseeable future.
The plan was released at the end of January after consulting with local First Nations, the Métis community, urban Indigenous organizations, education partners, post-secondary institutions, stakeholders, people with diverse lived experiences, the public, and the two municipalities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
“Our Strategic Facilities Plan is in its last stage of consultation, with final adoption scheduled for March 2022,” explained Carreras, noting that a public survey on their draft recommendations will be open until 4 p.m. on Feb. 15.
“The finalized Strategic Facilities Plan will support our board’s advocacy with the provincial government. We are grateful to the community for their time and thoughtful feedback during the consultation stage,” she said.
Anyone wanting to participate in the survey can go to letstalksd42.ca/facilities-of-the-future.
Have a story tip? Email: email@example.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.