Education Minister Rob Fleming is escorted into Cowichan Secondary gym for the big announcement on Dec. 18. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Education Minister Rob Fleming is escorted into Cowichan Secondary gym for the big announcement on Dec. 18. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

UPDATED: New $80-million Cowichan Secondary coming, province announces

The Government of B.C. is providing $79.9 million to replace Cowichan Secondary

The Cowichan Valley will finally get its long-anticipated new secondary school.

B.C.’s Education Minister Rob Fleming visited Cowichan Secondary School on Dec. 18 to announce that a new seismically safe $82.2 million facility to replace the 69-year old CSS will be open for classes by September, 2023.

The new school, which will have the capacity for 1,100 students that will eliminate the need for portables, will be constructed on the Cowichan Place property next to Vancouver Island University’s Cowichan campus.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT SEEKS LOCAL SUPPORT FOR NEW HIGH SCHOOL

The facility, which will also include a new sports field and a neighbourhood learning centre, is the first major school construction project in the Valley since 2010.

CCS students will remain in the current school until the new one is complete.

The existing facility will be retained by the school district and used as temporary space for students during future seismic upgrade projects in the district.

Fleming said the province will fund approximately $80 million towards the project from its seismic mitigation program, while the Cowichan Valley school district will kick in $2.2 million.

Fleming said the current CSS, which was built seven years before the first satellite circled the Earth, had been a centrepiece of Duncan for decades, but is now ancient and unsafe for students and staff.

RELATED STORY: FATE OF COWICHAN SECONDARY SCHOOL TO BE DECIDED BY 2019

“Every student deserves to learn in a quality school that will protect them in an earthquake,” he said to a packed and delighted auditorium full of students, teachers and other dignitaries.

“Cowichan Valley families have had to live with the fact that their school was deemed unsafe 15 years ago. That’s why our government has acted quickly to provide Cowichan Valley students with a new facility that fits 21st-Century learning in a seismically safe environment.”

Candace Spilsbury, chairwoman of the local school board, pointed out that the construction of a new school to replace CSS has been the main capital priority of the school district for many years.

“The board of education is thrilled that the Cowichan Valley is getting a new secondary school,” she said.

“We have been working toward this day for a long time with our community partners, and so we are so excited for what this announcement means to our learners, our staff and our community. We envision this new school as an anchor within our community, and we are grateful to the Ministry of Education for helping us make this vision a reality.”

RELATED STORY: SCHOOL BOARD SUPPORTS BUILDING NEW COWICHAN SECONDARY

Eilis Young, a Grade 8 student at Quamichan Middle School who will graduate in 2024 from the new school, said she’s overjoyed that she and her classmates will be the part of the first graduating class from the facility.

“I hope all the kids of my generation will appreciate the thought that has gone into the design of the school, which includes new learning spaces for us,” she said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Cowichan Secondary School. (File photo)

Cowichan Secondary School. (File photo)

Just Posted

North Cowichan councillor Christopher Justice wants to see rare habitats protected in the municipality. (File photo)
North Cowichan wants rare ecosystems to be a priority in OCP

But some council members want public input into decision

The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary is taking a pro-active approach and closing the thrift shop as a precautionary measure as of Saturday. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop closing again as a precautionary measure

Second closure this year will last at least six weeks due to the COVID situation

The Santa’s Workshop fundraiser being put on by Camosun students on Dec. 5, 2020, will benefit Providence Farm. (Submitted)
Camosun students harness spirit holiday season with Providence Farm fundraiser

The next event, coming up on Dec. 5, is a virtual “Day in Santa’s Workshop”

Colwood resident, Geoffrey Irwin, has been missing since Sep. 27. His vehicle was found in Vancouver on Nov. 25. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
Police search for former Caps player last seen in September

Geoff Irwin’s vehicle was found in Vancouver Nov. 25

Cowichan Tribes’ artist Darrell Thorne (left) and Phil Kent, chairman of the Island Corridor Foundation, hold Thorne’s first-place winning design in the ICF’s First Nations artist competition. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cowichan Tribes’ Darrell Thorne wins ICF art competition

Artists designed perspectives on passenger trains of the future

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

Most Read