**From the BC Government Website**
**Originally published December 2, 2019**
Students at West Sechelt Elementary school will soon be out of portables and have a better learning experience with six brand-new classrooms.
The project will also include a child care facility for local families.
“Students deserve to go to school in the best learning environments possible,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “That’s why we’re investing in West Sechelt Elementary, to give students more places to learn, play and grow under our new curriculum, rather than spending their days in portables.”
The Government of B.C. has approved $11.2 million for the 145-seat, six-classroom addition at West Sechelt Elementary. The Ministry of Education is providing $10.7 million in capital funding and the Sunshine Coast School District will contribute $500,000.
This project is the first school expansion in the Sunshine Coast since 2014. It includes a new neighbourhood learning centre that will be home to a child care facility with up to 24 seats, meeting another need for local families.
“As our community becomes home to more young and growing families, it’s important that we invest in infrastructure that gives them the services and programs they require,” said Nicholas Simons, MLA for Sunshine Coast. “With more classrooms and a new child care facility, this school is set to benefit people on the Sunshine Coast for generations to come.”
The school is operating at 132% capacity and using five portables to accommodate growth. When this addition is complete in 2021, all five portables will be eliminated, as well as two more at nearby schools. The child care portion of the project is expected to be complete in 2022.
“On behalf of the Sunshine Coast Schools Board of Education, I would like to extend a huge thank you to Minister Fleming for seeing our need and for helping us follow through on our goal for West Sechelt Elementary school,” said Pammila Ruth, chair, Sunshine Coast Schools Board of Education. “The community of West Sechelt has been in need of more space for quite some time now and the district has been working hard to find ways to make this happen. We are so pleased that a neighbourhood learning centre and a daycare are part of the plan to make West Sechelt Elementary a true neighbourhood hub for all students and their families.”
The new classrooms and child care facility at West Sechelt Elementary are part of the Province’s work to build new and expanded schools in fast-growing communities, so all students have the positive, engaging and inspiring learning environments they deserve.
Since September 2017, the Province has announced over $1.6 billion for school capital projects, including $632 million for nearly 10,200 new student seats throughout B.C.