Rob Fleming, Minister of Education announced upgrades at Lake Trail Middle School and $10.4 million for the rebuild of the Hornby Island Community School, replacing the previous building that was lost in a fire in August 2018. Photo by Erin Haluschak

New school for Hornby Island; $27 million in upgrades to Comox Valley Middle School

Upgrades to Lake Trail include a $1.5-million child care centre

On Friday (Dec. 6) the Province announced funding for a new school on Hornby island, as well as major upgrades to Lake Trail Middle School.

“All students deserve to learn in safe and inspiring schools that give them the best chance to succeed,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, at a press conference held at Lake Trail. “With new, modern facilities coming to Courtenay and Hornby Island, thousands of students will have a better learning experience for generations to come.”

The Government of B.C. is providing $10.4 million for a new, 95-seat Hornby Island Community School, replacing the previous building that was lost in a fire in August 2018.

RELATED: Fire destroys much of Hornby school

In addition, construction is set to begin on the $27.2-million seismic upgrade of Lake Trail Middle school, which will replace everything but the school’s gymnasium with a modern facility.

“People in our community showed how resilient they can be when the former Hornby Island Community school burned down,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “Our government took immediate action to provide short-term classrooms for Hornby students after the fire, and the new school will give them the long-term learning environment they deserve.”

In addition to a seismically safe school, the investment in Lake Trail Middle school also includes a $1.5-million child care centre, which will benefit local families. This supports the creation of needed child-care space and government’s Childcare BC initiative.

“Building child care spaces on school grounds helps children have a smooth transition from child care to the classroom,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “It also brings key services closer to home for local families and makes mornings easier for parents who can drop off children of different ages at one location.”

Both of these projects are scheduled to be ready for students by September 2022, giving students modern schools that better align with 21st-century learning and B.C.’s new curriculum.

“It is exciting to join students and teachers to celebrate the progress toward a seismically safe Lake Trail Middle school, and a new child care centre,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “This is something our community has deserved for many years, and something our community can’t wait to see complete, so students can have a better place to go to school.”

“Today’s groundbreaking ceremony is one more positive step toward revitalizing and modernizing a unique school community here in west Courtenay,” said Ian Hargreaves, board chair, Comox Valley Schools. “This project will create a safe school for staff and students; moreover, it will allow for significant improvements in the learning environment.”

These investments are part of government’s work to provide B.C. students with improved schools to help them succeed as students and as adults in a growing economy.

Since September 2017, the Province has announced over $1.6 billion for school capital projects, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and land purchases for future schools.

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