PORT COQUITLAM, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 12, 2016) - Students from the growing Francophone Tri-Cities and Maple Ridge communities are one step closer to having a new state-of-the-art school, with construction underway on the jointly funded $32.7 million École des Pionniers-de-Maillardville seismic replacement project.
Linda Reimer, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam, Marie-France Lapierre, Chair of the Board of Directors at Conseil scolaire francophone (CSF), and the Honourable Mike Bernier, Minister of Education, unveiled the project design for the new state-of-the-art K-12 school today. McKinnon, Reimer and Lapierre were joined by students, teachers, parents and school district staff.
The design was presented on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament, Coquitlam - Port Coquitlam.
The new two-storey school will be built on the same site as the existing school. It will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard, and feature open and collaborative learning spaces to support B.C.'s new curriculum.
The centre of the school will house a large multi-purpose atrium, which will connect to classrooms, and a gym, food service area, library, theatre and music room. This central space will provide a flexible venue for school and community events. Safety improvements to the surrounding area will also be made, including widening roads and adding crosswalks, traffic calming measures and lighting.
"Through a renewed collaboration with provinces and territories, for more than four decades, we've supported projects like École des Pionniers," Joly said. "This project will have a positive and permanent impact on the community by providing adequate infrastructure for the next generation."
"We recognize today the dynamism and enthusiasm of the Francophone community of Tri-Cities and Maple Ridge," McKinnon added. "This project, promoted by the communities for the communities, is a symbol of the vitality of our Francophone population."
The project includes building a larger two-storey classroom wing, creating 100 new student spaces, bringing the capacity of the school to 660 students-60 kindergarten, 350 elementary and 250 secondary. The project also includes a new French-language childcare and preschool centre, and an improved Neighbourhood Learning Centre.
"Ecole des Pionniers is a truly unique school," Bernier said. "It serves Francophone students of all ages in one building and supports community development. With this seismic replacement project, students will have a state-of-the-art school for many years to come."
"The new Ecole des Pionniers will provide students, young learners and children with a safe, modern and efficient space to play, learn and succeed," Reimer said. "This $32.7 million investment will also strengthen the Francophone community, and support families with new recreational and childcare spaces."
"The construction of this new school is a major milestone for the CSF and for the whole Pionniers-de-Maillardville community. Students will be guaranteed to receive their education in a modern, safe facility that meets seismic standards," Lapierre said. "Over the last few years, École des Pionniers-de-Maillardville has seen rapid growth and the new building will allow us to accommodate more who wish to attend the school."
Students will move into the new school in winter 2018. The old school will be demolished and turned into new playing fields and a parking area. At the same time, work will begin on the classroom wing and community space. This work is expected to be completed in fall 2019.
The Government of British Columbia is contributing $27.3 million for the replacement. The Government of Canada is contributing $3.7 million towards the community and childcare spaces within the school, and the CSF is contributing $1.7 million towards the new school and additional classrooms.
The provincial government is able to make investments like École des Pionniers-de-Maillardville, thanks to the Province's fiscal discipline and strong economy. The project will also help ensure young people get a chance to learn the trades, as it will be built under B.C.'s Apprentices on Public Projects Policy.
Provincial Seismic Mitigation Program: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/administration/resource-management/capital-planning/seismic-mitigation-program
Apprentices on Public Projects Policy: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/construction-industry/apprentices
B.C.'s new curriculum: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/