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.

Just Posted

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema, a member of the Canadian national women’s soccer squad.
Another scoreless draw for Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Canadian national women’s soccer squad

Canada played Brazil to a 0-0 tie days after doing the same in a friendly against the Czech Republic

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

Chilliwack firefighters watch as an O’Connor Towing operator removes a stolen Volkswagen station wagon from the Fraser River off Cannor Road in west Chilliwack on June 13, 2021. (William Snow photo)
PHOTOS: Stolen vehicle dumped in Fraser River in Chilliwack Sunday

Search and Rescue determined there was no one inside the car found upside down off Cannor Road

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

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

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read