Our Long Range Facilities Plan and what we’ve done so far
We are taking steps (or have taken steps) to manage our short-term capacity issues by:
- Reviewing how space is used at each school to maximize efficiency;
- Completing or planning interior renovations to create more classroom space;
- Considering programming requirements, including international education and
- Creating a three-year portable placement strategy for all school sites.
We review our short-term capacity strategies annually to help make decisions for the upcoming school year based on enrolment projections from the District’s Long Range Facilities Plan. Decisions to purchase portables (where space allows) or interior renovations happen in the spring before the coming school year. While we do our best to create additional room in schools where we see demand, there’s always a possibility enrollment exceeds the amount of extra space created.
The Long Range Facilities Plan
The Long Range Facilities Plan represents our long-term strategy to address the current school capacity crisis. The New Westminster Board of Education approved a new iteration of the plan in October 2023. This was our commitment to refresh the document every few years to ensure it aligns with enrollment demands in the district.
In addition to forecasting enrollment numbers and reporting on the state of facilities, the Plan outlines recommendations for district school infrastructure aimed creating more space to support students in our growing community. The recommendations are used to submit requests to the Ministry of Education and Childcare which are then prioritized amongst other project requests around the province.
We have also been actively pursuing capital projects to future-proof some of our existing schools by making room for more students.
Within the last two years we have completed the seismic replacement of Skwo:wech Elementary (formerly Richard McBride Elementary), which opened in June 2022 and constructed a new, state-of-the-art building that is now home to New Westminster Secondary School.