Chilliwack/Victoria – A land purchase will lay the groundwork for a future school for hundreds of students in one of British Columbia’s fastest growing communities.
Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, announced that the Province is providing the Chilliwack School District with up to $10 million to purchase part of the former Chilliwack North campus of the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) for the site of a new school. The purchase is the result of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and UFV working in partnership to meet the growing needs of the Chilliwack School District.
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. Most larger parcels of land are typically located within the Agricultural Land Reserve, which does not allow use for schools. The former UFV site has existing education buildings that can be renovated into a school facility.
“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.”
Meanwhile, the Chilliwack School District has applied to the ALR for a new school in Rosedale. The old elementary closed in 2011 due to seismic concerns. In 1972, a number of rural schools in BC came under the ALR coverage, and therefore, the approval must be sought. At the recent Chilliwack City Council meeting, Council sent a request to the education Ministry and the ALR to give their support to a new school. That presentation is expected to be in front of the a Chilliwack school Board in the new year.