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These Tri-City schools could get upgrades in $1B capital plan

It's a long list. Here's what SD43 says is needed in the next five years to accommodate more students in growing Coquitlam and Port Moody neighbourhoods, and add classrooms, fix or replace schools in Port Coquitlam.

School District 43 (SD43) is seeking $1 billion in provincial funding for a massive capital plan that includes new schools, additions and property needed for future development.

Dozens of classroom additions are needed and new schools required to replace aging buildings.

As well, SD43 is requesting the province pay for new schools in areas such as Burke Mountain or help buy land Port Moody and Coquitlam where future development is planned.

“Our total enrolment isn’t changing tremendously,” explained SD43 board chair and Port Coquitlam trustee Michael Thomas.

“We’re fairly stable. The two biggest factors is the restored contact language (which reduced the number of students per class) and the shift in population,” he said.

Tuesday, the board of education approved its 2023–24 major capital plan covering school needs for the next five years.

It includes more than $1 billion in funding requests, including:

  • $175,485,431 for classroom additions
  • $126,518,819 for new schools
  • $369,081,470 for replacement/renovation  
  • $267,646,600 for seismic upgrades
  • $138,636,585 for site acquisition

However, it will be up to the province to decide whether to fund the projects and approval can take years.

As well, because some projects are presented twice in different categories, the province will choose the preferred option, and, after funding just the one project, the overall all capital budget will be smaller, according to SD43.

Meanwhile, the district is waiting for an announcement of funding for a $145 million joint middle/secondary school for Burke Mountain, and delays will make it difficult to achieve a September 2026 opening, Thomas said.

The plans are to construct a joint-middle school first and then follow up with a middle school, at which point the joint school will become a secondary school.

“It will definitely be opened as a joint secondary/middle, and then the plan is within the couple of years of that opening we’ll need a new middle school on that site as well," Thomas told the Tri-City News.

In addition to $71.5 million for a new middle school for Burke Mountain, the district is seeking $54.9 million for a new elementary school for the fast-growing area.

The funding request comes as the district is opening a replacement school for Irvine Elementary in Port Coquitlam next week and preparing classes for another elementary school to open in Coquitlam in September.

Coast Salish Elementary in Coquitlam’s growing Burke Mountain neighbourhood will open to approximately 430 students.

Here’s what’s on the list for schools in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Anmore: 

New schools

  • Marigold (Partington Creek) Elementary, 100K/450 students, $54.9 million
  • NE Coquitlam Middle School, 600 capacity, $71.5 million 

Replacement schools

  • Montgomery Middle, 600 students, $76.6 million 
  • Maple Creek Middle, 600 students, $73.2 million
  • Como Lake Middle, current, $61.2 million
  • Nestor Elementary, 100K/475, $47.3 million
  • Cedar Drive Elementary, 40K/275, $36.3 million
  • Winslow Junior Secondary, Phase 2 replacement for Winslow Centre, $34.3 million
  • Montgomery Elementary District Education Centre, replacement for Vanier, Montgomery and Millside, $39.9 million

Classroom additions

  • Scott Creek Middle,10
  • Maple Creek Middle,10
  • Dr. Charles Best Secondary,12
  • École Banting Middle, 4
  • Riverside Secondary, 8
  • Port Moody Secondary, 12
  • Gleneagle Secondary, 8
  • Smiling Creek Elementary, 4
  • Roy Stibbs Elementary, 8
  • Blackburn Elementary, 4
  • Terry Fox Secondary, 8
  • Eagle Mountain Middle, 4

Seismic upgrade

  • Montgomery Middle, full replacement, 600 capacity, $76,608,130
  • Maple Creek Middle, full replacement, 600 capacity, $73,265,979
  • Dr. Charles Best Secondary, seismic upgrade (to be done in conjunction with the 12 classroom -300 students, $60,110,427
  • Cedar Drive Elementary, full replacement, 40K/275 Capacity, $36,350,000
  • Glenayre Elementary, upgrade $2,921,647
  • Mary Hill Elementary, upgrade $3,747,104
  • Port Moody Secondary, upgrade $2,547,634
  • Hillcrest Middle School, upgrade $3,245,764
  • Cape Horn Elementary, upgrade $8,849,915

Property acquisition

  • Fraser Mills Elementary  $22.6 million
  • Hazel Coy Elementary $22.6 million
  • Port Moody Elementary $32.7 million
  • Coquitlam City Centre $34.5 million
  • Marigold (Partington Creek) Elementary $100,000

Building envelope project

  • Gleneagle Secondary, $8,467,200
  • Riverside Secondary, $4,052,867
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