The Government of British Columbia has approved funding for a new Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF) kindergarten-to-Grade 6 elementary school to meet the growing enrolment needs of Burnaby’s francophone community.

“Burnaby has a thriving francophone community that will benefit from a permanent new school closer to where families live,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “Our government is building, expanding and upgrading schools like this one for the CSF in Burnaby, so students can learn in safe, modern schools and access their education closer to home, making dropoff and pickup more convenient for their families.”

The Province provided nearly $41 million for the construction of a three-storey school that will have the capacity for as many as 360 students.

The new school will be developed with energy efficiency in mind, which is in line with the government’s CleanBC program. The school will be built to LEED Gold standards, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions by 95 oer cebt in comparison to a traditionally built school.

The school will include a neighbourhood learning centre for child care and community use.

“Child care on school grounds makes life easier for families as it provides parents with peace of mind through one dropoff and pickup location,” said Mitzi Dean, Minister of State for Child Care. “Our government is prioritizing child care as we build new schools, and I know a child care centre offering care for francophone children will be a welcome addition to this project.”

Since September 2017, the Province has provided the CSF with more than $93 million for site purchases in Burnaby, Kamloops, Penticton, Victoria, Pemberton, Smithers, Sechelt and Squamish, as well as more than $130 million for new construction projects in Victoria, Smithers, Mission, Pemberton and now Burnaby.

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“It’s great to see further progress on a CSF school for Burnaby,” said Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed. “Francophone families will be able to have their children’s education and child care needs met in one location, further strengthening our local francophone community.”

The Province has also provided funding to help CSF establish a capital project office to more efficiently co-ordinate and deliver capital projects for francophone students and their families throughout B.C.

“We are filled with immense joy to see, after many years of perseverance, the construction of our first elementary school in Burnaby come to fruition,’’ said Marie-Pierre Lavoie, chair, CSF Board of Directors. “Securing provincial funding is crucial in order to provide equivalent French-language education in this region, which will enable the children of rightsholders in this region to receive their primary education closer to home.’’

Featured image: (Getty)

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