It’s Time for a New NWSS

NWSS Principal Phil Cookson and New Westminster MLA Judy Darcy (and post author) discuss the present condition of NWSS with Minister of Education Mike Bernier while standing in the high school. 

In the almost three years since I’ve been elected as MLA for New Westminster, there’s one question that I am asked almost daily: when are we getting a new high school?

The New Westminster Secondary School project is complicated – and it will be costly. In fact, this will be the most expensive school the province has ever built. The School District 40 Board of Education has submitted a comprehensive plan, one that respects the burial sites on the land and provides a modern learning environment for students.

I’ve been in contact with the Education Minister almost daily while the Legislature has been sitting. He has assured me that the project plan looks good and it’s his number one priority. The next step is for the plan to go to Treasury Board—the Cabinet ministers who hold the province purse strings—to receive funding.

Students in New Westminster deserve a school that is designed for 21st century learners. They deserve a school that doesn’t have asbestos in the walls and leaks in the ceiling. They deserve a school that is seismically safe. Each year, a new class graduates from a school they thought would be replaced long before they even entered middle school.

New Westminster Secondary School needs to be replaced.

Join me in telling the Minister of Education that the School Board’s project plan needs to be moved to Treasury Board immediately. Sign my petition online or drop by my office at 737 Sixth St in Uptown New West for a paper copy. Please circulate it widely to your neighbours and friends.

Editor’s Note: A group of frustrated parents have started a Facebook group in support of rebuilding the school, and are planning a rally for April 10th at noon. I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to go if you’re available – whether or not you have kids and no matter your political leanings. A high school is the last place of public education before these young adults enter our workforces and contribute to our community – we need to support the bid to have the school built immediately to ensure the success of the city we call home. I hope I see you there. ~Jen