Space crunch in School District 43
School District 43 is counting on new schools, additions to old schools and portables to relieve enrolment pressure in some areas of the Tri-Cities.
A long-awaited new middle school for Port Moody and Anmore is likely to go to tender in the next few weeks for a projected opening date of December 2013 and the district is seeking four classroom additions for Panorama elementary in Coquitlam.
Bunting Coady Architects is designing the new Heritage Woods middle school, which will have a capacity of 500 students.
Meanwhile, at Panorama elementary, where space is quickly running out, the district is looking at squeezing some portables on to the school grounds to make way for construction.
Portables are also on the horizon for schools in northeast Coquitlam, another high-growth area of the district. SD43 is looking at placing portables in September at Leigh, Walton, Nestor and Irvine elementary schools.
"We are starting to see enrolment pressure in the northeast sector," secretary treasurer Rick Humphreys told the board of education Tuesday. He said space is now a premium in these areas as people move into new neighbourhoods; only a few years ago, these schools had excess capacity.
Humphreys also warned trustees that the April 19 Port Moody-Coquitlam byelection will cause disruption at 11 Coquitlam and Port Moody schools, where polls will be located. The district will get money from Elections BC for rent and custodial services.