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Nanaimo high school adds four classrooms, subtracts four portables with $2.6M expansion

Classrooms, fitness area, gender-neutral washroom coming to Dover Bay Secondary in 2022
Dover Bay Secondary School. (Nanaimo News Bulletin file)

Students will have use of four new classrooms in 2022 after a $2.6 million Dover Bay Secondary School renovation is complete, says the B.C. government.

According to a press release, the B.C. Ministry of Education is providing the money for the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district for work on “existing, underused space” at the north Nanaimo high school, with the district providing $400,000 of its own money for the project. In addition to the classrooms, a “project-based learning hub, a fitness area and a gender-neutral washroom,” will be included, the press release said, which would mean the school would no longer need the use of four portables.

Work is expected to begin in September and classrooms are expected to be ready for students in March 2022, said the press release. They will offer “project-based learning environments” and cater to 21st-century learning principles.

The school district was grateful for the investment from the government.

“Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is experiencing significant growth, especially in the area around Dover Bay Secondary,” said Charlene McKay, school board chairperson. “The [board] thanks the provincial government for providing funding that will optimize under-utilized space at one of the largest schools in the district. The district looks forward to working with the [ministry] over the coming years to proactively address our anticipated capacity concerns.”

With increasing enrolment in the district – 14,360 full-time students anticipated for 2021/22 – Jennifer Whiteside, B.C. minister of education, said the ministry had to provide more “dynamic learning environments.”

“That’s why we’re adding more capacity to Dover Bay Secondary, so more students can learn in classrooms rather than portables, as we continue improving schools for students in every corner of our province,” said Whiteside in the press release.

Adam Walker, Parksville-Qualicum MLA, said he was happy to see work being done to accommodate students in his riding.

“Our government is committed to supporting students and staff by providing school spaces to meet their needs,” said Walker in the press release. “Our continued progress making investments will give students the best chance to succeed. I can’t wait to see students in my community learning in new classrooms at Dover Bay.”

The move is expected to increase capacity by 100 students.

RELATED: Proposed $2.5M Dover Bay renos would boost school’s capacity

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