Jenna Hauck/ The Progress This fenced-off site along the Vedder River Rotary Trail was recently purchased by the Chilliwack School district for a proposed project.

New school tops Chilliwack district’s capital wish list

New riverside school could be home to Kindergarten through Grade 8

A new southside school remains top of mind for the Chilliwack School District, as illustrated in their newest Five Year Capital Plan.

They announced the purchase of a site along the Vedder River earlier this month, which came as welcome news to families familiar with sending their children to out-of-catchment schools. On Tuesday night, the capital plan revealed a little more about the district’s plans for the site, listing the project as a K through Grade 8 model.

The idea will be to create a central hub in the school for common space, offices, library, gymnasium space and other facilities, with the elementary and middle school grades separate but both having access through the hub. It’s a design that will likely work with the elongated site, and allows the district to alleviate space in two levels of school structure in the future.

The 12.43-acre site is located at very end of Tyson Road along the Vedder River.

As of yet, there is no funding for a new school. However, the province did provide funding for a study to determine the community’s need for a new school.

Expansions at GW Graham middle secondary and Chilliwack secondary are number two and three on the capital plan list, respectively. There are no figures attached to this needs list. The addition at Promontory was previously on the list, but removed now that the funding has been secured and the project there is moving ahead.

But growing in space is only one of the district’s needs. The capital plan also highlights some much-needed upgrades, called School Enhancements. They include, in order, heating and ventilation upgrades at Cultus Lake elementary ($434,400), as well as at Evans elementary ($396,000), a boiler upgrade at Unsworth elementary ($264,000), heating and ventilation upgrades at Strathcona elementary ($602,200) as well as at East Chilliwack elementary ($300,000)

There are two projects listed under the Carbon Neutral Capital Program, a boiler upgrade at Unsworth ($260,000) and an HVAC upgrade at Evans ($160,000).