School District 43's (SD43) new $32-million school board office and education centre is coming in under budget and will provide space for community events.
A spokesperson confirmed to the Tri-City News the Education Learning Centre will open in the summer, providing office space, meeting space and a hub for teacher professional development.
"The estimated project completion cost is a little over $32 million at this point," confirmed Ken Hoff, assistant director of communications and community relations.
"It appears that we will come in under budget when everything is complete. Please note that if we started construction in today’s market, the estimated construction cost would have been $42 million to $46 million."
The offices were controversial when the school board approved a $36 million budget back in 2018, with some trustees suggesting the budget was too large.
But as the building takes shape, with a large, beautiful glass in atrium with decorative lights, and landscaping, it has the potential to be a community hub.
It is located next to Winslow Centre (100 Winslow Ave.) in central Coquitlam, close to Blue Mountain Park, and the district is currently looking at renting some of the spaces for community events.
Among the work that still needs to be done is the interior finishing, landscaping, and some exterior work, including the installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
PUBLIC WILL GET ACCESS
The building will allow public access in some areas, according to Hoff, while the function of the building will be for school board meetings, educational services, human resource, finance and payroll, information technology, purchasing, facilities and operations and international education.
No money is coming from the provincial government, instead the district is relying on revenue from land sales at Coronation Park Elementary, revenue from leasing former schools and operational surpluses, mostly from international education fees.
At the time of approval, SD43 stated that the building would be “purposefully designed, multi-use facility for learning, operational and support services that offers space for operational departments, student support departments, meeting rooms and other flexible learning spaces.
It will include several departments from multiple aged-out administrative facilities while consolidating functions to improve effectiveness and efficiency.”
Among the considerations in locating the new education centre is the fact that the existing school board offices will need to be knocked down to provide more parking space for nearby Centennial Secondary school, that was recently built for $49 million.