The Government of British Columbia announced that students and staff are returning to safer classrooms now that the seismically safer replacement of Burnaby North Secondary school is complete.

“More people are choosing to call B.C. home, and that’s why our government is building, expanding and upgrading schools,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “The newly opened Burnaby North Secondary provides students with a safe, modern learning environment so they can learn and thrive for many years to come.”

The Province provided $101.8 million to replace Burnaby North Secondary, one of the largest schools in the province with space for 1,800 students, as well as an additional $2.2 million in ChildCareBC New Spaces funding to create 123 child care spaces as part of the new neigbourhood learning centre. The Burnaby School District contributed an additional $11.9 million, with the City of Burnaby contributing $664,000 for the new school.

The replacement school will include child care, a school district conference centre and a neighbourhood learning centre with space for adult education and language development programs for the surrounding community.

Construction has started on the new Stride Avenue Community school. The Province provided approximately $43 million to build a seismically safer new school, while the Burnaby School District is contributing an additional $4.1 million. The school is expected to be completed in fall 2025. The school district received approximately $2.3 million in ChildCareBC New Spaces funding to create 54 child care spaces for children 30 months to school age at Stride Avenue Community school.

“The new Burnaby North Secondary and the upcoming Stride Avenue Community school replacement reflect the board’s priority of providing modern, safe and sustainable environments for students and staff,” said Bill Brassington, chair, Burnaby Board of Education. “We are proud that both projects also recognize that schools are the heart of our communities. Each building was planned to include space, such as child care, to help the whole community thrive. We’re grateful for our partnerships with the ministry and the city that help us to support children and youth.”

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Since September 2017, approximately $252.1 million has been invested in the Burnaby School District to expand, seismically upgrade or replace seven schools in Burnaby, including the completed Armstrong Elementary, Parkcrest Elementary and École Seaforth Elementary, as well as Stride Avenue Community school.

These projects are part of the Province’s work with B.C. school districts to provide students with access to seismically safer seats. During the past six years, the government has approved approximately $1.6 billion in seismic upgrades or replacements at 63 schools provincewide, so 35,000 more students can be better protected at school.

Since September 2017, government has provided more than $4 billion for new and improved schools, as well as land purchases for future schools, throughout the province. This has resulted in 25,000 new student spaces and 35,000 seismically safer seats at B.C. schools.

“There is an urgent need for child care in Burnaby and we’re moving quickly to support the creation of high-quality child care spaces across our community. We’re proud to be investing in our community’s future alongside our partners at the Burnaby Board of Education and the Province,” said Mike Hurley, Mayor of Burnaby.

Featured image: (Government of B.C.)

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