PORT EDWARD - The District of Port Edward and the Prince Rupert board of education, supported by a contribution from the B.C. government, joined forces to create a one-of-a-kind school at the municipal hall.
Today, Education Minister Don McRae greeted about 30 elementary school students as they arrived for their first day of classes at the new Port Edward Community school.
The school was created through an addition to the municipal hall so students can continue to learn in their hometown and spend more time with their families, without having to travel to another school in neighbouring Prince Rupert. The municipality committed $2.0 million and the B.C. government contributed $500,000 toward the new school, which includes three classrooms, a library and a refurbished gymnasium. The board has signed a lease with the municipality at $50,000 a year for the use of the addition, which is the same cost as providing school bus transportation to Prince Rupert.
This new facility at the heart of Port Edward is built to the latest building safety and environmental standards. Not only does it serve students, it also serves the whole community. In the evening, the school library becomes a branch of the main Prince Rupert library and provides computer access to residents. The school gymnasium, converted from the community centre, is available for public use outside of school hours. The gym will also be used to operate student breakfast and lunch programs, funded through CommunityLINK.
The original Port Edward Elementary, built in 1953, had to be closed due to deteriorating conditions.
Don McRae, Minister of Education -
"The District of Port Edward and the Prince Rupert board of education have worked hard to create this new school so children can go to school where they live. Today I met students and their families at the official opening of the school, and it is always a very rewarding experience to see firsthand the positive impact a school like this has on a community such as Port Edward."
We are delighted to be a part of this unique, district-led project, which will benefit kids and their families now and in the future."
Tina Last, chair, Prince Rupert board of education -
"The Port Edward Community school has served generations of Port Edward residents and it will continue to create great memories for children."
We are very pleased to partner with the District of Port Edward and have the provincial government's support to keep Port Edward Community school in the community. It has been an excellent partnership with the district and the provincial funding is a considerable contribution to the project. We are excited about this new facility and will continue to work with the district on programs for the whole community."
Dave MacDonald, mayor, District of Port Edward -
"Port Edward Community school has been an important part of our history for almost 60 years and now it is truly inseparable from the district. We saw the construction of the new school progressing every day and it is finally finished."
The new Port Edward Community school will not only benefit our children and families, it will also foster the growth of our community. We hope that more families with kids will work and live in Port Edward, as we continue to find ways to improve our infrastructures and services like this new school."
I would like to thank the ministry and the school board for all their support in keeping the school in Port Edward."
Trades training in the Prince Rupert school district:
After the school opening, McRae also visited Charles Hays Secondary school in Prince Rupert to hear about their upcoming trades training program. Skilled workers are in high demand due to growing industrial development in the region. Ridley Terminals Inc. took the lead on developing a trades training program and has partnered with the Prince Rupert school district, as well as Northwest Community College, to help students seize these employment opportunities in northern B.C.
For example, Charles Hays Secondary will offer Industrial Electrical Foundations and Millwright Foundations ACE-IT courses to youth in 2013-14. Ridley Terminals Inc. will help fund new equipment for these programs and solicit other industry partners such as the Port of Prince Rupert for further funding. These opportunities will be open to all eligible students, including many from the District of Port Edward.
- Currently 29 kindergarten-to-Grade 5 students are enrolled in Port Edward Community school.
- 19 students from Port Edward are studying in Prince Rupert Middle school and 41 students at Charles Hays Secondary/Pacific Coast school.
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has provided more than $515,000 in funding to the Prince Rupert school district. This includes: $500,000 for Port Edward Elementary and $15,000 to convert one classroom for full-day kindergarten programs.
- Since 2001, B.C. has spent more than $2.1 billion to complete 93 new and replacement schools, 150 additions, 27 renovations and 22 site acquisitions throughout British Columbia. All new and replacement schools have been constructed to meet the latest seismic standards.
- The government is currently working to build, replace or upgrade over 70 capital projects throughout B.C. over the next four years. The total cost of these projects is approximately $1.5 billion.
Prince Rupert school district: http://www.sd52.bc.ca/
BC's Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education