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.

Just Posted

Quilts for injured soldiers will be some of many on display at quilt show in Chilliwack

Chilliwack Quilters’ Guild brings its quilt show, Our Fabric Gems, to Chilliwack Alliance Church

‘Ballet Rocks’ brings a modern take on ballet at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Ballet Rocks pairs an eclectic mix of music with four Royal Winnipeg Ballet Alumni choreographers

BC Children’s virtual care sites open at Abbotsford and Chilliwack hospitals

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

Sardis Library escape room based on hit Netflix show Stranger Things

This is the second escape room in Chilliwack that the Sardis Library has put together this year

Chilliwack maternity ward gets bundle of new equipment

Breast pumps, small fridges for patient rooms and freezer for donor breast milk given to hospital

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

Man arrested in fatal stabbing at Surrey gas station

Victim pronounced deceased at the scene; RCMP cordon off area

Most Read