Province’s support will mean more classrooms at École Hammond Bay

Additional classrooms will move students out of portables

Nanaimo school district successfully made its case for more classrooms at École Hammond Bay.

Nanaimo school district staff announced Wednesday that the B.C. Ministry of Education approved the business case for expansion at the French immersion school, including six additional classrooms, a multipurpose room and special education space.

The school district had originally proposed a two-phased project to the ministry, in which the district would pay to expand an under-sized gym, the province would cover the cost of more classrooms and the work would total $10.7 million. However, earlier this year, Blain said the ministry wasn’t ready to move ahead with its phase and trustees opted to forge ahead with their portion, the gym, with $1.5 million in capital.

RELATED NEWS: Larger gym could be on the way for École Hammond Bay

Pete Sabo, Nanaimo school district’s director of planning and operations, said at a education committee meeting Wednesday that the gym will proceed notwithstanding this latest announcement and is expected to be complete in the fall of next school year. It’s not known what the timing will be on the classroom expansion, which will be approximately 1,800 square metres of new space and bring the classroom count up to 15.

Christine Bohm, school principal, told the News Bulletin she was “ecstatic” when she heard the announcement about the ministry approval and said it means a lot to to parent community, students and teachers.

“We do have a need to bring our students into the main building,” said Bohm, who notes there are classes in five “dry” portables, where there’s no running water.

Bringing those students into the school means it can function as a whole school community and have more of a collaborative and cohesive environment, she said, adding the gym, too, will make a big difference because there can be whole-school assemblies. Right now fire restrictions prevent that.

Jennifer Therriault, president of the École Hammond Bay parent advisory council, said that the ministry is coming through with the money means the school will have spaces for collaborative learning and kids will be within the school, not sitting in portables. In cases of an emergency, she said, there currently are five full classrooms out in the middle of the field.

Trustee Steve Rae thanked the minister and current government for recognizing the project is something that needed to be done.

“They’ve worked well with us right from the beginning,” said Rae. “We are real excited about this.”

The school district has to present the ministry with a project definition report by early September, which includes confirmation of the rationale, an outline of options and confirmation of costs. There will also be follow-up meetings with the ministry to confirm the scope, schedule, budget and terms of the project approval, a press release shows.



news@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Discontent City can remain where it is until the end of next month

B.C. Supreme Court judge grants application for an extension to comply with injunction

SD68 candidates make last pitch prior to election

Nanaimo Duncan and District Labour Council hosted a meet-and-greet for prospective school trustees

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: So much for ‘say no to drugs’ in Canada

I’m from the ‘users are losers’ generation, says letter writer

Former Nanaimo Daily News editor writes first business book

Book launch for It Worked For Them, It Will Work For Me is Tuesday, Oct. 23

UPDATE: Shots fired at house during fight in Nanaimo

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say RCMP

Candidate lists finalized for Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN, school district

Nomination deadline passes in advance of Oct. 20 local government elections

Election 2018: candidate questionnaires

News Bulletin’s questionnaire responses for Nanaimo, Lantzville, school board, regional district

When to vote, where to vote, how to vote

Voting day is Oct. 20, with polls open 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Beefs & Bouquets, Oct. 18

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

Chicken and Broadway on the menu at Bite of Nanaimo

Food, music and roving broadway characters a recipe for TheatreOne fundraiser Friday, Oct. 19

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

Most Read