Construction has begun on a new elementary school in Abbotsford that will also provide almost 100 childcare spaces for the community.
The provincial government is providing $24.7 million for the new 460-seat Eagle Mountain elementary school. The Abbotsford school district is contributing an additional $2.5 million.
The school is set to open its doors to students in September 2022 adjacent to Eagle Mountain Park.
Childcare will be provided for infant/toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged kids in the community.
Abbotsford-Mission MLA Pam Alexis said the new school will reduce enrolment pressure at nearby schools as more families move to the area, and will eliminate the need for almost 20 portables in the district.
“People in our community can’t wait for a new school to open on Eagle Mountain, so more students can spend their days in better learning environments that help them thrive,” she said.
The new school will also include a neighbourhood learning centre. The centre will provide dedicated space for before- and after-school care, along with a large centrally located multipurpose space for community use.
Stan Petersen, chair of the Abbotsford board of education, said the board is “very pleased” to have a new school in the community.
“Abbotsford has experienced exceptional growth over the last decade, and this new school will alleviate high capacity and projected future enrolment in the Eagle Mountain neighbourhood,” he said.
“We look forward to providing students and families with a modern and innovative learning space and accessible childcare spaces.”
In addition to the new school, the province is also providing $18.9 million for seismic upgrades at Abbotsford Traditional school. The upgrades are also expected to be complete in September 2022 and give 750 students a safer place to go to school.
The school district had been requesting money for a new school on Eagle Mountain for years, and the land had already been set aside for the project when the funding was announced in April 2019.
The project created some controversy last year after the City of Abbotsford stated that access to Eagle Mountain Park may be limited during school hours after it’s built.
After some public outcry, the decision was made that the park will remain open during weekdays.
The last major school space expansion in the city was the partial rebuild of Abbotsford Senior Secondary School in 2012.