Right in time for the new school year, Lake Trail Community’s replacement school in Courtenay and the new Hornby Island Community school are opening in the Comox Valley school district.

“I’m thrilled students, staff and families in Courtenay and on Hornby Island get to kick off their new school year in better, larger and safer schools,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “Our government is committed to supporting students and staff to ensure they have safe, dynamic learning spaces to grow and succeed in for many years to come.”

The Government of B.C. provided $26.2 million toward the partial replacement of Lake Trail Community school. The Comox Valley Board of Education contributed $1 million. The existing gymnasium remains as part of the upgraded school. Students and staff demonstrated resilience and community spirit as they navigated the changes and challenges of the construction period.

The replacement school has room for 500 students in grades 6 to 9. The school includes a new standalone child care facility with space for up to 20 children, valued at $1.5 million. This new facility supports the creation of needed child care spaces through government’s Childcare BC initiative.

“Access to affordable, quality and inclusive child care close to home is critical to supporting families and communities,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “By investing in child care on school grounds, we can make pickups and drop-offs easier for busy families, while inspiring a lifelong appreciation for learning in young children.”

The Province invested $10.4 million for the new Hornby Island Community school after the previous school building was lost in a fire in August 2018. The construction was completed nearly a year ahead of initial project timelines, reducing the time students had to spend in modular classrooms.

The new school has capacity for 95 students in kindergarten to Grade 7. Hornby Island residents will benefit from the updated facility, which will be available for community programming.

Budget 2021 includes almost $3.5 billion for school capital investments, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and site purchases to ensure land is in place to accommodate fast-growing communities throughout the province.

Quotes:

Sheila McDonnell, chair, Comox Valley Board of Education

“The new Hornby Island Community school and upgraded Lake Trail Community school are very exciting for our district and the communities it serves. They address seismic safety issues and provide state-of-the-art spaces for collaborative, project-based learning. We are so grateful for the funding and the impressive project delivery behind these schools continuing as 'community hearts,’ engaging and supporting our students, their families and residents.”

Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox –

“Students and teachers all deserve a safe, welcoming and engaging learning environment. We’ve made Lake Trail seismically safe and modernized the school for a better learning experience for everyone. I am deeply grateful to the parents, students and educators who faced the hurdles of ongoing construction during such a tough school year. New child care spaces are also opening with the school, making it easier than ever for families to ensure their little ones have a fun and nurturing space to grow in.”

Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim

“The new Hornby Island Community school will be an important community hub, not only for students, but for Islanders of all ages.  It demonstrates our government’s commitment to small and rural communities, and I’m delighted that Hornby Island students will be out of portables and learning in new classrooms nearly a year ahead of schedule.”

Alexandra Lamont, Hornby Island Community school parent advisory committee –

“I am incredibly thankful to the Ministry of Education, School District 71, the teachers and staff and the Hornby Island community for coming together so quickly to build this beautiful school that will be loved and appreciated for generations to come. And a huge shout out to the students. This has been a difficult few years full of challenges, and they have demonstrated incredible resilience and adaptability. The Hornby Island community is very proud of them. Thank you, thank you.”

Learn More:

For more 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