New school for Burke Mountain closer

Province sends the Coquitlam school to the next phase

A second elementary school for Burke Mountain in Coquitlam is closer to reality this week after the B.C. government announced it is moving Sheffield elementary to the next stage.

Although the province has yet to approve funding for the approximately $17.9-million school, it confirmed in a letter to School District 43 that it wants a Project Definition Report by Aug. 18.

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“The ministry has indicated it’s a high-priority project,” Ivano Cecchini, assistant secretary treasurer of facilities planning, told trustees at Tuesday’s board of education meeting, adding later: “We will continue to advocate.”

SD43 has already advanced funding for design work to fast-track the project.

Once built, the school will hold 400 students and will be a sister school to nearby Smiling Creek elementary, which is nearing completion.

Other projects approved in SD43’s 2018/’19 capital plan and awaiting funding confirmation from the province are: four classroom additions for each of Panorama Heights and Westwood elementary schools; and a six-classroom addition for Dr. Charles Best secondary.

Meanwhile more than $1.8 million in mechanical upgrades and boiler replacements have been approved for Best, Summit middle, Coquitlam River elementary and Hazel Trembath elementary.

SD43 is also planning to add 19 portables and make 11 classroom conversions for the fall to accommodate class size and composition issues related to a Supreme Court of Canada ruling.

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