New school set to be a community hub

The new Chilliwack secondary school isn't going to be your regular bricks-and-mortar school.

  • Jan. 20, 2011 9:00 a.m.

The new Chilliwack secondary school isn’t going to be your regular bricks-and-mortar school.

Yes, it will have classrooms, but it will also feature a teaching kitchen, community training space and distance education resources under the one roof.

Fifteen per cent of the school will be devoted to a Neighbourhood Learning Centre with space for community and aboriginal services.

“The inclusion of this space in the Chilliwack secondary school project will enable us to bring community partners into direct daily contact with our students and will support students, families and elders in learning together,” said Doug McKay, chair of the Chilliwack board of education.

A key piece of the new school will be an aboriginal centre, which will provide cultural and educational opportunities and tutorial support for aboriginal students as well as the entire school community.

“As B.C.’s Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, I’m particularly pleased that this community hub will help maintain the rich traditions of the Sto:lo people by utilizing an inclusive approach to learning that will benefit a wide range of community groups,” said Chilliwack-Hope MLA Barry Penner.

Also, Chilliwack Community Services will be supporting teen parents and families by providing access to parent and family resources through the school. Other services like Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentorship programs, RCMP liaison work, and Fraser Health education programs will be included in the Neighbourhood Learning Centre space as well.

“The new secondary school will support students and their families – from the youngest learners to seniors – by combining school space with valuable community services,” said Chilliwack MLA John Les.

Construction is scheduled to start this spring. The new school will open in 2012.