New school spaces are being built right across Chilliwack, bringing more than 2,000 new student seats to the district by September 2022.
The construction includes four major capital projects, with two brand new schools and two substantial additions. The Chilliwack School District has been keeping the public in-the-know with regular updates on their website. The updates for March 2021 include photos and bullet points on what has recently been completed as they work toward opening the additional spaces.
The total for all four projects is just over $105 million, with about half of that going to create Stitó:s Lá:lém Totí:lt elementary middle school.
It’s a brand new school site along the Vedder River and Tyson Road, being built from the ground up. The two-storey school has taken shape now, and will welcome 930 students in the fall of 2022. It will also include a Neighbourhood Learning Centre, similar to the partnership at Chilliwack secondary.
But the first to come online will be Imagine High Integrated Arts and Technology Secondary School, which opens this September to Grade 9 and 10 students. This project came in at a lower price tag at an estimated $15.4 million, because it largely repurposed a remaining portion of the former University of the Fraser Valley North campus. A gymnasium had to be built from the ground up at the site, but the school also includes the old UFV theatre, which has been refurbished and will play an integral role in the arts and tech offerings there.
They are already installing wood-worked cabinets, drywall and paint as they race toward opening day.
Imagine High administration has been working at meeting all of their new students and their families via Zoom meetings throughout the past year, and still have some seats available for Grade 10. Each year, the school will add a higher grade to a capacity of 600 seats. There is also an annex building on site for a Grade 8 arts and tech cohort, and will tie in with A.D. Rundle middle and F.G. Leary elementary for the arts stream.
The capital projects include two additions, one at G.W. Graham secondary and one at Vedder elementary, both which are scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2022.
G.W. Graham will gain 450 new seats, reducing the number of portables needed. The two-storey addition there includes 18 new teaching spaces, including a trades space, a robotics tech program, a shared outdoor covered area for teaching, and more washrooms.
The project includes space for even more expansion if needed in the future, as the neighbourhoods in the catchment continue to grow.
Work recently completed at G.W. Graham includes moving and re-skirting the portables on site to create the room to build.
And the ground work has began for Vedder elementary’s 250-seat expansion. The site has been excavated and footings have been placed as the $12 million project moves forward.
This will be a 10-room, two-storey addition including multipurpose spaces, more parking and more washrooms.
To find out more about the capital projects and follow their progression, visit the Chilliwack School District website. Capital projects are listed under the “About” tab.
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