The start of a school year always brings new opportunities – opportunities to develop new skills, foster new knowledge, and forge new relationships. For hundreds of Langley students, this will be especially true in coming years when they head into new or upgraded schools – part of the collaboration between the school district and our former government to create new student spaces in our growing community.
Next year, 1,700 students will be heading to a brand-new secondary school. Located in the Willoughby Slope area, the school will replace the current R.E. Mountain Secondary School. Construction is well underway on the nearly $60 million project, and the new school is on track to open September 2019. The current secondary school will then become a middle school in time for next school year.
Also in the Willoughby Slope area, work recently finished on an eight-classroom addition to R.C. Garnett Demonstration Elementary School. This addition provides 200 new student seats in this rapidly growing area.
Over at Langley Secondary, work is ongoing to seismically upgrade and partially replace the existing school. This multi-phase project is also on track, with construction taking place around class schedules. A two-storey addition is on schedule to be complete in April 2019, and the entire project is on time to be completed in June 2020.
As our community continues to grow, so too will our student population. I’m proud to have been a part of a government that recognized this, taking steps to create new student spaces and keep pace with future growth. But this could change.
Under the new NDP government, we’re seeing less money spent on building and upgrading schools across the province than our former government had budgeted for the same time periods. For example, we had committed $687 million to education capital for the 2017/2018 year. However, the NDP government spent $557 million last year – over $100 million less than our former government had planned. Things are shaping up similarly for 2018/2019, with the NDP again budgeting well over $100 million less than our former government had anticipated spending. Langley is growing – there’s no doubt about it. Government can either keep up or be left behind. For the sake of our students, I sure hope it’s the former.
MLA for Langley East