News & Features - What’s happening now
We’re breaking ground for the future now…..
Pictured here: The official groundbreaking for our New Westminster Secondary School replacement – with grade 9 students who will be the first to graduate from the $106.5 million state-of-the-art school after it opens in September 2020.
Highlights of our Learning Journey 2017-2018
Breaking ground for education in New Westminster…
With two brand new schools underway or about to start and a major seismic upgrade for another, it’s a major leap forward not only for safe schools in our city –but for state-of-the-art education at New Westminster Schools.
Both Education Minster Rob Fleming and New Westminster MLA Minister Judy Darcy were on hand – not once, but twice this past May – to unveil projects that on their own would be huge milestones, but together add up to an exciting chapter for our district.
Our year of celebration included:
Richard McBride Elementary
• The announcement May 9 of a $22.6 million replacement for Richard McBride Elementary School – a venerable 89-year-old structure deemed at high risk for seismic failure, and of pressing concern for parents. Construction to replace the “castle on the hill” begins in fall 2018 with completion scheduled for early 2021.
École Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary
• A $6.1 million seismic upgrade for 81-year-old École Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary School. The school was assessed at high risk for structural failure in two of the school’s three blocks and is a high priority for the district. The project was announced May 9, started in June, and will be completed in the fall of 2020.
New Westminster Secondary
• A groundbreaking ceremony May 25 that officially signaled the start of construction for our $106.5 million, state-of-the-art New Westminster Secondary School (NWSS) replacement – the largest school investment in BC history. Funding for the project was announced in June 2016. Graham Design-Builders with KMBR Architects Planners Inc. were selected to design and build the new school in December 2017.
These projects affirm the right of our children to learn, grow and thrive in welcoming, inclusive – and safe – school environments,” Board of education Chair Mark Gifford said in acknowledging the support of parents, the community and the province at the May 9,f 2018 press event.
Inspiring 21st century learning…
Although a long time coming, the timing for a new NWSS couldn’t be better. Our students are entering a dramatically different world. They require new and creative skills — in critical thinking, collaboration, maker culture, the use of technology and more…
As education in BC undergoes a major transformation, we’ve had the opportunity to design our school in a way that allows us to embrace that change.
The new NWSS will accommodate 1,900-2100 grade 9 to 12 students in an inspirational and inclusive space filled with natural light and wood, with a huge shared Grand Commons foyer, a 280-seat Performing Arts Theatre, modern shops, collaborative learning paces, and a host of features to meet the needs of a diverse student population –including a recording studio, sculpture garden, roll-up doors to connect indoor and outdoor spaces, and flexible, multi-purpose learning spaces to bring students together across disciplines.
Our current New Westminster Secondary School has served the community since 1949 and has long inspired a sense of connection, pride, and community. Our NWSS students, teachers and staff continue to engage in inspired learning, teaching and programming — despite aging walls and outdated buildings.
We are proud of the fact that NWSS has a rich culture where diversity is celebrated and relationships are nurtured — and we fully expect to take that spirit with us into the future.
Planning for the future now…
At New Westminster Schools, we strive to meet the learning needs of a growing and changing community. New Westminster is expected to reach 84,000 people by 2021. With the growth of the city comes the growth of the School District…..
Our Board of Education is in the final stages of developing a long range facilities plan (LRFP).The plan will develop options to meet anticipated increase in enrolment in coming years. It will align with the city’s official community plan, inform our Board’s five-year capital plan, and provide a framework for our local decisions.
We look forward with confidence to building a strong foundation that will carry us effectively into the future.