New school for Winfield

Chantelle Deacon

Lake Country is getting a new middle school. 

Premier John Horgan was in the growing community to announce the news himself. 

"It is time for families in Lake Country to get the new school they have been hoping and waiting for, so their community can continue to grow while their kids thrive," he said.

"Investing in public schools is the right thing to do for families, for communities and for our province. It's the key to a stronger economy and a brighter future for all of us."

The new middle school will be in Winfield and is scheduled to open in September 2021 and will include a neighbourhood learning centre for the community.

It will be built on district-owned property south of George Elliot Secondary school, and will have enough space for 600 students in grades 6-8. 

"This new middle school will allow us to continue building a district-wide grade configuration that suits learners at all levels," said Moyra Baxter, chairperson of the Central Okanagan Board of Education. "It will also relieve some of the pressure on our schools so we can serve learners in the growing community of Lake Country for years to come."

The province is providing $35.1 million to build the school. The Central Okanagan School District will contribute $1.5 million to the project, in addition to the $3.8 million already spent on land for the new school.

"The new school will address the physical, social and intellectual needs of children in Lake Country, unlocking educational opportunities," said Education Minister Rob Fleming. "We are moving quickly to get children out of portables and into classrooms by building the schools our growing communities desperately need."

Construction on the new middle school is expected to begin in May 2019.

The Central Okanagan School District purchased the property for the new school, and the Aspen Grove Golf Course, for $3.8 million. 

The intention is to convert the golf course property into a playfield for both the new middle school and George Elliot Secondary school.

Lake Country's schools are operating at 125% capacity, and enrolment forecasts show a shortfall of 368 seats by 2026.

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