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Photos: Here's a look at the new Coquitlam school district office

Are you ready for back to school? SD43 staff have already moved into the new Education and Learning Centre in Coquitlam and public meetings will be held there this fall.

A new Education Learning Centre for School District 43 (SD43) has officially opened two weeks ahead of the first day of classes, Sept. 6.

It's a far cry from the small, 1950s-era bunker located on Poirier Street, which is set to be demolished.

With electric vehicle chargers and a large reception area and lobby, the Coquitlam building — located at 1080 Winslow Ave. — will house the district's international education office as well as other administrative functions.

"The Information Services (IT) department moved first early in June to ‘test’ the technology systems and iron out any wrinkles before other departments moved. The move was complete by the end of June," SD43 spokesperson Ken Hoff confirmed to the Tri-City News.

Departments include:

  • Information Services
  • International Education
  • Finance and Corporate Services
  • Facilities
  • Human Resources
  • Executive Education (Superintendent, etc.)

Designed by Station One Architects, the $32-million building has ample parking and will host in-person board meetings this fall, although the Sept. 20 public board meeting will be online.

It will be the last board meeting before the 2022 municipal election — set for Oct. 15.

The offices were controversial when the board of education approved a $36-million budget back in 2018, with some trustees suggesting the pot was too large.

However, the costs came in less than projected.

If constructed today, the Education Learning Centre may have cost between $42 million and $46 million, according to Hoff.

It was paid for with revenue from land sales at Coronation Park Elementary, revenue from leasing former schools and operational surpluses, mostly from international education fees.

Meanwhile, Coquitlam Alternative Basic Education (CABE) students will be attending classes this fall next door at Winslow Centre after a fire damaged their building.

CABE will eventually move back to their original location, but Hoff says the timeline is not absolute.

It is anticipated that it will be late fall or early 2023 before students move back.

CABE had 65 students graduate in June 2022 and is likely to have a student population of about 130 in the fall with about 100 starting in September.

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