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Smiling Creek elementary now official

SD43 trustees approve name for Burke Mountain school out of 17 entries
Smiling Creek
Smiling Creek elementary school is the official name for the new school being constructed on Burke Mountain with an opening date of September, 2018.

Although it's more than two years away from opening, Smiling Creek elementary school received its official name this week after a community consultation that drew 17 suggestions for the planned Burke Mountain school and settled on what has been its working title.

In a unanimous decision by School District 43 trustees, Smiling Creek was chosen among the top three picks made by a name selection committee. The other top names were Black Bear elementary and Burke Mountain elementary.
"The names give a strong sense of community pride," said Devon Ross, the district's acting principal of facilities initiatives.

But despite the school being located on Burke Mountain and in the habitat of black bears, the name Smiling Creek, named for creeks in the area, was chosen as the school's moniker.

"The area is called Smiling Creek… 'Smiling,' it sounds appropriate," said Coquitlam Trustee Diane Sowden who proposed the naming motion.

"It provides visions of rainbows and butterflies," said Port Coquitlam Trustee Michael Thomas.

"It does evoke a smile just saying it," said board chair and PoCo Trustee Judy Shirra.

Other proposed names ranged from those commemorating well-known locals — including BC Lions legend Lui Passaglia, Burke Mountain community activist Eleanor Ward (after whom the David Avenue bridge over the Coquitlam River is named) and former B.C. premier Dave Barrett, who was an MLA in the area in the early 1970s.

In bigger news for the school, which will be located at 3456 Princeton Ave., trustees also approved a $14.2-million contract to Yellowridge Construction Ltd. for building the school. It is scheduled to open in September 2018, accommodating 430 children in 19 classrooms.

Other names proposed by the school community, including students, were:

• Burke Top elementary;

• Captain George Richards elementary;

• Dave Barrett elementary;

• David Suzuki elementary;

• Edmund Burke elementary;

• Eleanor Ward elementary;

• Lui Passaglia elementary;

• Michael Cuccione elementary;

• Pinecone elementary;

• Princeton elementary;

• Queenston Park elementary;

• Schooly McSchoolface elementary;

• Sky View elementary;

• and Vermont elementary.


In other construction news, SD43 has awarded a  $799,000 contract to NT Construction Management Ltd. for the partial demolition of Coquitlam's Banting middle school to allow for the reconfiguring of exit corridors and routes and electrical changes to permit the construction of a $22.5-million replacement school.

Other projects receiving approval include an LED lighting upgrade to Port Coquitlam's Maple Creek middle school, with $156,400 in provincial funding and $17,300 paid for by the district.

According to a letter from the province, projects approved to go to the next stage in the district's five-year capital plan include replacement of Minnekhada middle school and seismic work at Irvine elementary and Montgomery middle.

As well, Riverside secondary school is slated to get some building envelope repairs.