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More classroom space for students in Pouce Coupe

$1.56 million for the addition to Pouce Coupe Elementary,
empty chalkboard
There is still no new deal in place between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association as school begins this week. (via Shutterstock)

To meet future growth demand and to get students out of portables, a two-classroom addition with space for 45 students at Pouce Coupe Elementary has been approved.

"For students and families in rural communities with just one school, it's especially important to make sure there is enough classroom space to give every child a place to learn," said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. "That's why we worked together with the Peace River South board of education to find a long-term solution for families in Pouce Coupe."

The Government of B.C. and the Peace River South School District are each contributing up to $1.56 million for the addition at Pouce Coupe Elementary, for a total maximum project budget of $3.12 million.

Construction is expected to be underway this summer with the goal of having new classrooms ready for students at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

"We look forward to seeing the students of Pouce Coupe Elementary back together again under one roof in an expanded facility that will continue to support student success," said Chad Anderson, chair, Peace River South board of education. "The board of education of School District 59 values our partnership with the Ministry of Education in funding this important expansion."

Pouce Coupe Elementary was built in 2008 as a partnership between the Village of Pouce Coupe and the Peace River South School District.

With funding from the Province approved, the addition will eliminate the need for the two portables currently in use at the school, better connecting all students to the school.

"The parent advisory council (PAC) is happy to hear that the growing needs of Pouce Coupe Elementary are being met," said Erin Lee, chair, Pouce Coupe PAC. "Having everyone together in one building again encourages an environment that increases connectiveness for students and staff."

Investments in new and expanded schools for students are a priority for the Province. Since September 2017, government has announced more than $2.2 billion for school construction projects throughout B.C., creating nearly 13,500 new student seats, with many more to come.