The City of New Westminster & SD 40 just sent out the following news release about a new plan proposed for school construction in New Westminster. The proposal includes replacing Massey Theatre, keeping Mercer Stadium and adding a new sports field to the school that will be built on the former St. Mary’s Hospital site.
What do you think of it? We’ll pass on any questions to the City & School Board and let you know what they say.
New secondary school proposal features new performing arts centre
New Westminster, BC — School District #40 and the City of New Westminster have announced a proposed plan that will see a new regional community performing arts centre to replace the existing Massey Theatre included as part of the New Westminster Secondary School replacement project. The announcement came following a thorough discussion process between the School District and the City.
“It’s been a lengthy process and the issues have been complex,” said Mayor Wayne Wright. “The proposed plan will see all major components of the secondary school site maintained with a new high school and state-of-the-art regional community performing arts centre, in addition to new elementary and middle schools delivered for the citizens of New Westminster. We look forward to sharing this exciting concept with the community and getting feedback in the coming weeks.”
As part of the proposed plan, Mercer Stadium would be maintained at the secondary school site and a new field added at the St. Mary’s site.
The proposed plan has been presented to the BC Ministry of Education for initial review. The Ministry feels that the proposal has merit and has encouraged the School District and the City to continue their collaborative efforts to achieve a solution that balances the education needs of students and the broader needs of the community.
The School District and City are planning public information sessions in early September, followed by focused consultation and public workshops. The consultation will take place as part of public consultation regarding inclusion of community programs in schools under the Neighbourhoods of Learning (NOL) program introduced by the Ministry of Education in 2009. Under this program, the School District can receive additional funding to accommodate programs that serve the needs of students and the broader community in new schools.
After these consultations have been completed, the Board of Education and City Council will each consider the findings of the public consultation process and determine whether the proposed plan should move forward.
“We’ve been working hard with the community and the City for a long time, it’s great to see it pay off with this agreement,” said Board Chair James Janzen.”We have 3,000 kids waiting for new schools, and a community that’s been living with uncertainty.”
Once a plan for New Westminster Secondary School is finalized, the school district will be able to proceed with the construction of a new elementary on the St. Mary’s site, a new middle school on the John Robson site and a new high school on the existing NWSS site.
More information on the proposed plan and community consultation process will be forthcoming. Updates will be posted on the School District’s website at www.sd40.bc.ca and on the City website at www.newwestcity.ca.