The Ministry of Education has agreed to kick in $900,000 to replace Port Clements elementary as part of a multi-purpose community centre, Education Minister Shirley Bond just announced.
The new multi-purpose building, to be built at the school site, will include classroom space for 50 students, a community kitchen, a seniors room, an exercise room, a teen room, a daycare, the library and the village administration office.
In addition, the existing Port Clements elementary school gym will be renovated by the school district to serve the new centre.
Built in 1954, the existing school needed expensive seismic and heating system upgrades. The replacement centre will be built to meet current seismic standards to make sure students are safe in the event of an earthquake.
"This is great news for the entire community," said Port mayor Cory Delves. "The multi-purpose building committee and our local school board have worked hard to make the joint project a reality. The new school, library and community centre will be utilized by the whole community."
The project will also receive $200,000 from the school board and $1.7-million in Canada-BC infrastructure funds.
"I'm very pleased we've been able to work so productively with the province to make the new school a reality," said school board chair Wayne Wilson. "Port Clements elementary is a significant part of our community, and so we're looking forward to having this wonderful new complex."
Construction is set to begin in April, and it's hoped that the building will be ready by the spring of 2008.