B.C. Minister of Education Rob Fleming, seen here taking part in a volleyball exhibition at École Hammond Bay Elementary School, has reaffirmed the government’s commitment for an expansion at the school, estimated at between $16-18 million. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Province adds more money to École Hammond Bay expansion plans

Education minister says 12 new classrooms coming for Nanaimo school in $16-18 million project

With an expanded gym at École Hammond Bay Elementary complete, the B.C. Ministry of Education has reaffirmed money to add 12 new classrooms at north Nanaimo school.

In April, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools and the previous school board announced the ministry approved a business case for expansion at the French immersion school, including the now-completed gym expansion, paid for by the school district for $1.5 million. At the time, six new classrooms, a multipurpose room and space for special education were slated for work estimated at $10.7 million, but at the gym ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming announced $16-18 million and additional classrooms.

Fleming said the figure would be “sharpened during the tendering process” and a request for proposals is anticipated for the spring. There is a lot of merit to the project, he said, as there is a lot of over-crowding at the school. If the announcement hadn’t been made, Fleming said there would have been more portables and the announcement eliminates the need for portables.

RELATED: Nanaimo’s École Hammond Bay unveils new gym

RELATED: Province’s support means more École Hammond Bay classrooms

“We want to begin this project quickly, both because we need the classroom space now, but also to manage any construction cost escalations to bring that project in on budget and on time,” said Fleming. “The sooner the better that we get going on it.”

Pete Sabo, school district director of planning operations, said the project is at the end of the project development stage and the next stage is to sign a capital project agreement with the ministry. The design concept is worked out and the district will move directly into getting working drawings. Capacity will more than double, he said.

“The existing school is approximately 224 students for occupancy level and the new school will be over 500 student occupancy … one of the key points to the expansion is that we will have an additional 20 kindergarten student intake,” said Sabo. “Currently we have 40 student intake every year. We’re going to expand that to 60 and then we have the capacity to have those students follow through all the grades.”

Charlene McKay, school board chairwoman, welcomed the news.

“It’s going to be great,” said McKay. “We know that the demand for French immersion is high and so we have the opportunity to add some more spaces and help build up that French immersion culture in our school district.”

Fleming said work is set to begin in 2019 and work is estimated to be complete by September 2021.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Couple collecting empties for VIU scholarships can’t pick up cans on campus anymore

Parmars have been picking up cans for 12 years; university now enforcing safety policy

Gogo’s tree farm celebrates 90th year of growing Christmas trees

Gogo Christmas tree farm has grown Christmas trees since 1929 and started U-cut business in 1984

Nanaimo’s November was much drier than normal

Region got less than one-third normal rainfall for month and 2019 trending toward driest in 10 years

Raise the curtains: New outdoor theatre coming to Parksville

A $204,000 boost comes from Island Coastal Economic Trust

VIU scholarships created in honour of grad who died in plane crash

Awards related to indigenous studies and the environment will be offered in memory of Micah Messent

Gogo’s tree farm celebrates 90th year of growing Christmas trees

Gogo Christmas tree farm has grown Christmas trees since 1929 and started U-cut business in 1984

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Nanaimo Clippers holding Teddy Bear Toss

BCHL team has pair of home games this weekend, including charity event Saturday, Dec. 7

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Coins can add up to a merrier Christmas for kids

News Bulletin’s Coins for Kids campaign now underway

Beefs & Bouquets, Dec. 5

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

Most Read