News & Features - What’s happening now
Land purchase for future school expansion…
A step in meeting future priorities…
March 5, 2019 – New Westminster Schools is pleased to announce the acquisition of property on Fader Street in Sapperton as part of a long-range strategy to address projected enrolment growth in the fast-growing area.
The purchase of the .438-acre site at 522 Fader Street, located near current school property adjacent to Hume Park, is in the process of being finalized.
“We are pleased to be planning for the future now and to ensure we are pro-active in meeting the needs of our families and community,” said Board of Education Chair Mark Gifford.
“It’s great to see the New Westminster School Board planning ahead to make sure students have the best possible place to go to school,” said Minister of Education Rob Fleming. “We are working with school districts throughout B.C. to add new classrooms in fast-growing areas, and forward-thinking investments like this help us take action and improve schools for our students.”
A possible future middle school for the district…
The $1.75 million purchase will help ensure the district is positioned to address priorities for a possible future middle school in the Sapperton Catchment area, in alignment with the school district’s 2019-2020 five-year capital plan submission to the Ministry of Education.
The priorities outlined in the district’s capital plan include expansion of Queen Elizabeth Elementary school, a new area elementary school in the Fraser River Catchment area, and the Sapperton area expansion.
The plan was approved by the Board of Education in November 2018.
The purchase also aligns with the City of New Westminster’s future development plans which affect school capacity and the number of schools needed. These include the Sapperton Green rezoning application for a mixed-use, sustainable, and transit-oriented master-planned community at 97 Braid Street.
“Making sure land is in place for new student spaces in New Westminster is a great step for local families,” said MLA for New Westminster Judy Darcy.
“Our government has a great relationship with New Westminster Schools, and we’ll keep working together to give students the best educational experience possible,” she said.
Preparing for community engagement in long-range planning…
The purchase is funded through the district’s Land Capital Fund, supported by development fees allotted to the district through the City of New Westminster.
All New Westminster Schools land acquisitions are approved prior to purchase by the Ministry of Education. Decisions to acquire a site are made based on long range population projections and the capacity of existing schools.
The New Westminster Schools Land Capital Fund prior to this purchase totaled $3.9 million.
The Board of Education looks forward to upcoming public consultation in the spring to review its long-range facilities plan for the district.