New Westminster Secondary School Replacement Project

About the Project

In June 2016, the Province of B.C. announced funding for the replacement of New Westminster Secondary School (NWSS). The $106.5 million project will be the largest school investment in B.C. history. This will be the third recent new school opening in New Westminster, following the opening of École Qayqayt Elementary School in September 2014 and the opening of Fraser River Middle School in September 2016.

Built in 1949, the current school has served New Westminster students exceedingly well, but the facility is outdated and requires seismic remediation. It is the only secondary school in the City of New Westminster and one of the largest in B.C., which will be a key consideration in designing and building the new school.

Also importantly, part of the property is located on a former burial area. Commitments have been made that no construction will take place on any known burial area. For more information about the history of the school and property, and the School District’s ongoing work with groups with historical connections to the site, see here.

Your New School

The doors opened to staff and students in January of 2021, ready to accommodate up to 1,900 grade 9 to 12 students. The new school will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment. It will be designed to optimize the use of flexible learning spaces to maximize collaboration and active learning; this will include technology that enriches the learning process, multi-purpose spaces and modern shops, as well as contemporary fine and performing arts spaces. It will also meet today’s standards for modern learning, safety and accessibility, and will incorporate the latest sustainable energy management systems.

The new NWSS will be an inspirational and inclusive space, reflecting students’ needs and the Board of Education’s project aspirations. It will accommodate a diverse student population and offer a rich array of education programs and services to meet the needs of all learners. Spaces are designed to be flexible to support both collaborative and individual learning. The new school will be designed to accommodate the most advanced learning tools and technology.

For more information about the new NWSS, read the Round 2 Community Consultation Discussion Guide here.

Procurement and Construction

From left to right: New Westminster Schools Board of Education trustees, Kelly Slade-Kerr and Michael Ewen; former Superintendent of Schools, Pat Duncan; Board of Education Chair, Mark Gifford; and Jean-Jacques Brossier from Graham Design-Builders LP.

In December 2017, the New Westminster School District and the Ministry of Education selected Graham Design-Builders with KMBR Architects Planners Inc. to design and build the new school, based on their proven expertise in this area, on their ability to deliver on time and on budget, and on an extensive and thorough understanding of the project’s Statement of Requirements.

The project’s Statement of Requirements was developed based on direction from the School District and the Project Team, and on best practices from other recent secondary school projects, as well as input from the Board of Education, teachers, department heads and program experts.

The new NWSS is being designed and built through a design-build process. This involved a competitive process in which shortlisted builder/architect teams developed designs to meet the specifications in the Request for Proposals. The successful team best met the criteria set out by the School District. This method of selection provides the School District and the community with an integrated design and construction team on a fixed contract.

  • November 2016: The School District issued the Request for Qualifications (RFQ). Six design-build teams responded to the RFQ.
  • March 2017: Three qualified teams were shortlisted to participate in the Request for Proposals (RFP) phase of the competitive selection process to design and build the new school.
  • March 2017 — November 2017: Teams of approximately 25 people from each of the three competing design-build teams developed proposals for the new school. The three proponents submitted their proposals in November 2017.
  • December 2017: Following a rigorous evaluation process, Graham Design-Builders with KMBR Architects Planners was awarded the contract to design and build the new NWSS.