Here is an update on Burke Mountain schools from Mr. Craig Hodge Councilor for the City of Coquitlam.
"The Coquitlam school board outlined its’ plans for schools for Burke Mountain at a packed public meeting at Leigh school Tuesday night.
It announced it plans to build the middle school on the same property as the proposed Secondary school, which is at the corner of David and Coast Meridian (below the 7-eleven.)
The middle school was originally planned in the Official Community Plan to be on Riley Street, and last summer many parents expressed concern when the school district announced it wanted to acquire property in East Partington creek area for it instead. The advantages to placing the middle school beside the Secondary school are- the land is already owned by the school district, it is centrally located and the area is already developed.
This site is owned by the city and the school district and is planned to be a joint park and secondary school but because it will now house two schools, so the field will be upgraded to be artificial turf to increase usage. This will be one of only three schools in the tri-cities to have an artificial sports field and it is being made possible through a generous $5 million dollar donation by Wesbild.
Wesbild’s President Kevin Layton was at the meeting and also announced that they will be donating 6 acres of fully serviced land in Partington Creek area to the school district for Elementary school #3.
This means that the school district will now own all the properties that it requires for three elementary schools, a middle school and the secondary school.
This of course will now leave two pieces of land originally planned for school sites (the one on Riley Street, and the ranch site at the west end of Highland) free for another use. The city will begin consultation with the current landowners and I expect they will bring a new land use proposal to a public hearing, possibly as early as this fall.
School construction is funded by the provincial government and MLA Doug Horne was also at the meeting and stated that an application from the school district to build the first elementary school (on Queenston Ave) is now before the treasury board and he expects approval for funding with in a few months.
The School board announced that it intends to build Smiling Creek Elementary (on Queenston) by 2018 on 6 acres of land recently purchased from private land owners by the school district and the city. It will be a joint elementary school and park. Planning and design work are now underway.
The next school will be Partington Creek Elementary School, and then they plan to build the secondary school and the middle school for 2023 followed by the third elementary school.
The main concerns raised by residents were – having to wait 8 or more years for a middle school, lack of a school bus to transport students to middle schools in Port Coquitlam during that time, and what will the two former school sites be used for."