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Funding approved for Port Renfrew Elementary replacement

CANADA, March 12 - Students and staff will soon be in safer, modern classrooms as funding for a replacement of Port Renfrew Elementary school has been approved as part of government’s seismic mitigation program.

“Our government is committed to building, expanding and upgrading schools throughout B.C.,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “I’m proud that we are continuing to invest in the seismic safety of our students. These upgrades will ensure students in Port Renfrew are safer in school.”

The Province is providing nearly $12 million for the project. This is  part of approximately $270 million government has provided to create 2,660 new student seats in the Sooke School District during the past six years. This includes the new Pexsisen Elementary, Centre Mountain Lellum Middle school, an addition to Royal Bay Secondary and SĆIȺNEW̱ SṮEȽIṮḴEȽ Elementary, a 480-seat school with on-site child care, which is under construction.

“Having served as a trustee and the former chair of the Sooke School District, I know from a deep personal connection how important this replacement is to people in Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht First Nation,” said Ravi Parmar, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “This new school is the single largest public investment that Port Renfrew has seen in decades. I am so proud that it will provide students and the entire community a place to gather, learn, play and grow.”

To get more students into classes quicker, custom-made prefabricated additions at Ruth King Elementary and David Cameron Elementary are expected to be ready for students in fall 2024.

“We are thrilled that approval has been granted by the Ministry of Education and Child Care for the construction of a sustainable and seismically safe 50-seat replacement school in Port Renfrew,” said Amanda Dowhy, chair, Sooke School District Board of Education. “Our collaboration with the Pacheedaht Nation over the years has been instrumental in achieving this milestone, and we look forward to furthering our partnership as the school project progresses from plans to reality.”

Budget 2024 includes $3.75 billion for school capital projects over the next three years, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools.

This project is part of the Province’s work with B.C. school districts to provide students with access to seismically safe schools. Over the past seven years, the Government of B.C. has announced seismic upgrades or replacements for 63 schools, ensuring over 35,000 more students are attending schools that are seismically safe with almost $1.6 billion in funding from the Province.

Learn More:

For more information about Sooke School District 62, visit: https://www.sd62.bc.ca/

For information about major public school capital projects underway, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/major-capital-projects

To learn about B.C.’s Seismic Mitigation Program, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/seismic-mitigation