NANAIMO – Students at Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Elementary can look forward to learning in new, modern classrooms as work is underway to expand the school and provide better learning environments for children in the community.
“Students and staff deserve to spend their days in positive, engaging and inspiring classrooms that give them the best chance to thrive at school,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “Our government is taking action to ensure students in fast-growing communities have the school space they need to succeed in their education. I’m so pleased to see that more students and staff at Hammond Bay Elementary can look forward to better learning environments very soon.”
The Government of BC is providing $14.6 million for the 12-classroom addition at Hammond Bay Elementary, while the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District is contributing $1.25 million toward the cost of the project.
The addition is expected to be complete by February 2022, increasing the capacity of the school by 295 students, while reducing enrolment pressure at neighbouring schools.
To further improve schools for students in Nanaimo, the Province is also investing $18.8 million for seismic upgrades at both Pleasant Valley and Cilaire elementary schools to ensure students will be protected at school if a major earthquake occurs. Construction is expected to be underway on the upgrades in June 2021 and for the schools to be seismically safe by September 2022, giving 500 students a safer place to go to school.
“The families at École Hammond Bay are excited to have this new addition to the school, which will provide more space and opportunities for students. This will mean being able to move classes out of portables and into a permanent building. It’s also very exciting that French immersion will be available to more families in the school district. We very much appreciate the government and district support in the recent gym expansion and now the addition of more classrooms,” said Leslie Sansalone, chair of École Hammond Bay Elementary parent advisory council.
The Province is committed to continuing to build new and expanded schools for students in fast-growing communities.
Since September 2017, government has announced over $2.2 billion for school construction projects, which include adding 13,280 new student seats to B.C. schools, eliminating the equivalent of more than 530 portables.