Growth and student safety key focus of Langley school upgrades
June 27, 2016
For Immediate Release
June 24, 2016
LANGLEY – Langley Secondary school will be seismically upgraded and the Langley school district has been given the go ahead by the Ministry of Education to start planning for a new secondary school in the Willoughby Slope area.
Langley MLA Mary Polak and Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman made the announcement today on behalf of Education Minister Mike Bernier at Langley Secondary school, along with school district officials, students, teachers, staff and parents. The upgrade and partial replacement of LSS is a $26.2-million project with the Province contributing $25.8 million, and the district contributing $426,123.
The planning for a new school in Willoughby Slope was launched with an eye to helping alleviate enrolment pressures in the area.
The Langley Secondary project includes demolishing just over half of the aging school and replacing it with a modern, unified, accessible and more efficient building. Construction is anticipated to begin in summer 2017 and finish in winter 2019.
Today’s announcement builds on recent improvements in the district thanks to B.C.’s School Enhancement Program. Mechanical upgrades were made to RC Garnett Demonstration, Langley Meadows and Blacklock Elementary schools, and lighting upgrades were done at Langley Fine Arts Elementary-Secondary.
Government is able to make school investments in Langley thanks to the Province’s fiscal discipline and strong economy. The Langley Secondary school project will also help ensure young people get a chance to learn the trades as it will be built under B.C.’s Apprentices on Public Projects Policy.
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment and MLA for Langley –
“These projects are an important milestone for families and students in Langley. Schools are the backbone of our communities and government is working hard to protect the quality of education for B.C. students by investing in safe and secure schools.”
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing and MLA for Fort Langley-Aldergrove –
“The Province has worked hard to align the needs of the community with the safety concerns throughout the district. Langley students will benefit from these new school projects to both address growth and serve the community safely for years to come.”
Rob McFarlane, board chair, Langley School District –
“The Langley Board of Education is extremely pleased Langley Secondary school will continue its 69-year history as a centre of secondary education in Langley, but soon as a modern facility designed to provide a 21st-century learning environment for our students. Beginning the planning process for a new secondary school on the Willoughby Slope is also great news. We are very grateful for the active advocacy of Minister Polak and Minister Coleman, who played key roles in obtaining provincial government support and funding for these projects.”
- Rapid growth is expected to continue in the Willoughby Slope area, as it has the largest portion of undeveloped land in the Lower Mainland.
- When the Willoughby Slope area is fully developed, it is estimated that about 20,000 to 25,000 people will live in the area.
- According to the Township of Langley, there were 368 new residential units in the Willoughby Slope area between January and April 2016. This accounts for 71% of construction in the whole of the township.
- Including Langley Secondary, government has invested $41.5 million to seismically
- upgrade five high-risk schools in Langley since 2007.
- Langley Secondary school was built in 1947 and is a priority in the district because six elementary schools in the area feed into it. The 1,025-seat school is under capacity with 753 students currently enrolled. Enrolment is expected to grow to 835 students by 2026.
Langley School District: https://www.sd35.bc.ca/
Provincial Seismic Mitigation Program: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/educationtraining/administration/resource-management/capital-planning/seismic-mitigation-program
Apprentices on Public Projects Policy: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/construction-industry/apprentices