Chilliwack school district provided $10 million to purchase former UFV site

Chilliwack school district provided $10 million to purchase former UFV site

Province announced funding Friday for new school development

The former grounds of the University of the Fraser Valley could soon be home to Chilliwack’s newest school, thanks to funding announced by the provincial government Friday.

Although it had been in the works since prior to October’s election, the province announced on Dec. 20 that it’s providing the Chilliwack School District with up to $10 million to purchase part of the former Chilliwack North campus of the UFV for the site of a new school, Education minister Rob Fleming said.

“With the purchase of this land and buildings, students in the growing Chilliwack School District will have a great new place to learn,” said Fleming.

“Converting this former university space into a new school is not only good news for families in Chilliwack, it’s also a smart investment in a fast-growing school district.”

RELATED: Chilliwack school board applies to ALR for future elementary school

Although pieces of the original property have been sold off over the years, and currently houses the Cascade Christian School, the site has been mostly unoccupied since UFV moved most of its programs to its new location at Canada Education Park in 2012.

Vacant sites of a suitable size for a school are difficult to locate in the Chilliwack area because most larger parcels of land are typically located within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), which does not allow use for schools. However, the former UFV site is very suitable with its existing education buildings, which can be more easily renovated into a school facility.

“After relocating to Canada Education Park and marketing this property, UFV is pleased this land will now be used to answer a clear community need and support the Government of B.C. and the Chilliwack School District in providing education in our region,” said Craig Toews, UFV vice-president, external.

“The Chilliwack Board of Education is delighted with this announcement, which is a priority in our five-year capital plan,” said Dan Coulter, Chilliwack Board of Education chair.

“We are a growing district and in need of more instructional spaces, and this purchase will help alleviate some of the space challenges. this is great news for our community and students, and I want to thank the Ministry of Education for making this purchase a reality.”

This idea “fits into a new, north side school,” said Dan Coulter, Chilliwack Board of Education chair. Out of all the districts in the province, Chilliwack has the highest student to portable ratio … so (a new school) will add breathing room in our (current classrooms), but we also still need other things that will help aleviate our crowding.”

READ MORE: Province pledges nearly $49 million for new Chilliwack school

As Chilliwack is one of the fastest growing communities in B.C., administrators hope this addition to Chilliwack’s school district will accommodate the student growth resulting from an influx of young families to the community.

“I think the minstry has rightly recognized our need and are willing to invest in capital projects to help us get the instructional space our students need,” said Coulter.

“What the school will look like is sort of up in the air right now, though,” he continued. “We will go into a public consultation on what the school will look like, age of kids, composition of the school. And (Cascade Christian School is) close by, but we’re willing to work with them on things.”

Government is committed to investing in fast-growing school districts like Chilliwack. In September 2018, the ministry announced a new 930-seat K-8 school in south Chilliwack worth $53.6 million. That school’s construction is scheduled to begin next fall, with doors opening to students September 2022.


 

@SarahGawdin on Twitter
SarahGawdin on Instagram
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A mallard duck swims through Salish Pond in Chilliwack on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Snow, rain in forecast for Fraser Valley

Fraser Valley has been treated to more than a week of mostly sunny weather, but it’s about to end

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment, hits milestones in break-out year

Cory Silbernagel makes his acceptance speech after receiving the Community Advocate award during the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce 2020 Chilliwack Champion awards on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce)
Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce awards recognize businesses, individuals after unprecedented year

‘Positive acts’ honoured during Business Excellence Awards - Chilliwack Champions Edition

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near Chilliwack secondary

Third high-school related assault Rob Iezzi’s cameras have captured since beginning of 2021

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Most Read