A long-awaited seismic rebuild of a Port Moody elementary school will have a child care centre and it will be large enough to accommodate kids from anticipated development in the area located close to SkyTrain.
As well, the new Moody Elementary will have roof-top solar panels to provide some of the school’s electrical needs.
Today (June 14), the B.C. government announced $32.2 million in funding to replace the school — currently located at 2717 St. Johns St. — with a Kindergarden to Grade 5 school for 385 students plus 60 licensed child care spots.
School District 43 (SD43) is also kicking in $5 million to build the school, which will be located down the street at the site of the former Moody middle school, which was replaced in 2018.
This will give parents who have children attending both schools a more convenient drop-off location and provide the option for the current site to be used for a new facility to support future enrolment, the press release notes.
The current school has a capacity of 270 students; however, the extra 115 classroom seats is to accommodate future growth in Port Moody’s downtown, a press release states.
"The board of education is grateful for the announcement of the seismic replacement of Moody elementary and especially pleased with the inclusion of a neighbourhood learning centre to provide expanded daycare opportunities and facilitate before- and after-school care," stated SD43 board of education chair Kerri Palmer Isaak.
"The surrounding community continues to grow, and this replacement school will meet the needs of families in the area for years to come."
NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TO INCLUDE ROOF-TOP SOLAR PANELS
SD43’s $5-million contribution will come from last year’s $16.2-million sale of the former Lincoln elementary to the BC Christian Academy.
School officials have said that relocating the new school is necessary because the current Moody elementary site is too small to build a new school while keeping the existing one running for students.
The new school is expected to be ready for students in September 2024, with construction scheduled to begin in February 2023 but school officials hope that construction can start sooner.
“We would like to think that we can begin construction earlier than February 2023 but need to produce design drawings, secure a building permit and then tender. This process takes time but we intend to move forward as quickly as possible,” said Ken Hoff, assistant director of communications and community Relations, in an email to the Tri-City News.
The new school will include energy-efficiency features, such as rooftop solar panels, to help the province meet its CleanBC targets and reduce operating costs for the school district.
"Our government is working with teachers and parents in communities across B.C. to create a cleaner, better future for our kids and grandkids," said George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy, in the release. "The new Moody elementary school will improve learning environments for students and support good local jobs for people in the green building sector while reducing climate impacts and pollution."
NEW CHILD CARE FOR 40 INFANT/TODDLER AND 20 SCHOOL-AGED SPACES
With support from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, a new child care centre will be built at Moody Elementary that will create up to 60 licensed child care spaces, including up to 40 infant/toddler spaces and up to 20 spaces for school-aged children.
"Improving access to quality and affordable child care on school grounds is a key goal in our 10-year Childcare BC plan to build an inclusive, universal child care system for B.C. families," said Katrina Chen, minister of state for child care.
"By investing in more child care spaces on school grounds, we're making pickups and drop-offs easier for families, and helping young children develop a lifelong love of learning."
According to the press release, the province has approved nearly $135 million for seven major school capital projects in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, adding more than 1,000 new student seats to the district. However, money for the long-awaited joint middle/secondary school on Burke Mountain has yet to be announced.
Port Moody MLA Rick Gumac said he expects the new school to build on the legacy of the historic Moody elementary school, even in its new location.
"For more than seven decades, Moody elementary has been a hub for countless children and families in Port Moody," stated Glumac.
"While so many of us have strong, lasting memories at the school, I can't wait to see new memories created at a new facility that is truly designed to support students and their achievement in the 21st century."