SCHOOLS – Expanded Valleyview secondary will help students to thrive
By JENNIFER WHITESIDE
Education and Child Care Minister
LAST WEEK, the community had much to celebrate as students returned to expanded and modern classrooms at Valleyview secondary. Our government invested $32.7 million to add 525 seats to the school, bringing the total capacity up to 1,200 students. The Kamloops-Thompson School District provided an additional $1.75 million.
The school now has 20 more classrooms, a new gymnasium, multi-purpose spaces and innovative learning environments like film studios, a drafting room, as well as gender-neutral washrooms and change rooms.
We know that schools are the heart of their communities, and these improvements will help students who attend Valleyview Secondary to thrive and achieve their best, now and in the future.
We’ll keep working to provide wrap-around supports in Kamloops-Thompson and throughout the province. When Parkcrest elementary was lost to a fire in 2019, our government approved $34.8 million in funding to build a new, modern Parkcrest elementary with additional capacity for 120 more students than the former school.
The school district has contributed $300,000 to this project and the City of Kamloops has committed as much as $2.5 million to nearly double the size of the school gymnasium, highlighting what we can achieve through partnerships.
Construction is underway and I am looking forward to the new Parkcrest Elementary re-opening in 2024.
We know the leaders of tomorrow are in our classrooms today. As a government that cares deeply about supporting school communities, we will continue to work closely with the Kamloops-Thompson School District to advance their capital plans and find beneficial solutions to enrolment growth.
The district currently has our support to develop business cases for new elementary schools in the growing Pineview Valley and Batchelor Heights neighbourhoods, and we are looking forward to continuing our relationship with the board to advance these priorities.
We all want our kids to have everything they need to succeed. Investing in schools like Valleyview Secondary and Parkcrest Elementary is part of our government’s commitment to giving students the best start possible.
Over the past five years, we’ve invested more than $3 billion in new schools, expansions, seismic safety upgrades and site purchases for future schools. To support this momentum, Budget 2022 includes $3.1 billion for school capital investments that provide a better place for students to learn.
Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all those who make up our school communities. I’m so appreciative of the teachers, educational assistants and school staff and administrators who support our kids and encourage their learning, growth, and physical and mental well-being.
Parents and families also play a vital role in creating positive communities through their volunteering efforts, and connecting with one another at drop-off, pick-up, sports practice and concerts.
I also want to congratulate all new and returning school trustees who will help lead the district forward over the next few years.
I’m proud of the work we’ve done in Kamloops to provide students at Valleyview with expanded and improved learning environments, and I look forward to seeing the school community grow and develop.
The Kamloops area is a beautiful place to live and raise a family, and we are committed to continuing our work with the Kamloops-Thompson district to build learning environments that benefit all students, families and staff.
Jennifer Whiteside was elected as the MLA for New Westminster in October 2020. She is the Minister of Education and Child Care.
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