Monday September 11, 2023 | NANAIMO, BC
The Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District (SD68) has been expanded by 12 classrooms as part of keeping up with an increasing population of young families in the Nanaimo area.
The new learning spaces are at École Hammond Bay Elementary on Morningside Drive in Nanaimo.
“All across BC, our government is adding classroom spaces for students in growing communities like Nanaimo,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “I am proud to be here today to see these new seats filled with eager learners ready to embrace the school year ahead.”
The new school addition will add 295 student seats to the community, for a total of 395 new student spaces created in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District since September 2017. The two-storey building expansion will eliminate the need for four of the classroom portables this school year.
BC Premier David Eby has mentioned numerous times in this year about the increasing population across BC — there were about 250,000 more residents over two years 2021 and 2022, and people keep coming. The desirability of living in BC is main draw, the Premier has said.
“More and more people are choosing Nanaimo because it’s so great for families. That means we need more and more space in schools,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo. “We all want students to have space for learning and I am so happy our government can help by funding 12 new classrooms at École Hammond Bay Elementary.”
Other school upgrades:
During the past five years, the Province has seismically upgraded or built additions for new schools in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District, including new classrooms at Dover Bay Secondary and seismic upgrades at Cilaire and Pleasant Valley elementary schools, with almost $36 million in funding.
“We are incredibly grateful to the BC government for its investment in our students’ futures,” said Greg Keller, board chair, Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District.
“These new classrooms will provide a modern, comfortable learning environment that will greatly enhance the educational experience for our students. Thank you to the Province for its continued support, as this is yet another investment that will benefit our community for years to come.”
The Province’s school investments:
Since September 2017, the Government of B.C. has announced 24,000 new student spaces and 35,000 seismically safer seats. The Province has provided approximately $3.9 billion for new and improved schools, as well as land purchases for future schools throughout the Province.
Many of the newest schools have been built in the fastest-growing areas of the province, which would include Sooke School District (SD62) (delivering public education in the west shore and Sooke) and the Surrey School District (SD36).
Budget 2023 includes $3.4 billion for school capital projects over the next three years, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools.