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$175 million approved for Mission Secondary replacement

Ministry, school district target 2028 for students to be in classrooms; 2029-30 for full completion

The province announced the approval of $175 million in funding for a new high school on Friday (April 5) with students in new classrooms by 2028 and the project fully completed by 2029-2030.

In an announcement at the Mission Secondary gymnasium, education minister Rachna Singh shared news of the long-awaited replacement for the high school. An additional $1 million for the school will be funded by the Mission Public School District (MPSD).

The new school will have a capacity of 1,500 students – 250 more than its current building. It will also include an Indigenous education centre and a neighbourhood learning centre for community use and child care.

“This facility can serve as a centre for personal social development and will offer [a space for] activities, clubs, organizations that allow students to explore their interests, develop leadership skills, and build lifelong friendships,” MPSD board chair Shelley Carter said.

Energy-efficient measures such as a cooling system for warmer months will be featured in the new building as well.

The current school first welcomed students in 1952. Mission Secondary principal Jim Pearce has been at the school for decades. He said over the years, the school showed its age with several floods.

“Staff managed that and a bunch of different things … but at the end of the day, once you arrive in this building, you will bleed green and black,” Pearce said.

Mission Secondary graduate and current UBC student Izzy Vetter shared her excitement about the new school. She said newer technology and more resources will help students better prepare for post-secondary education.

“This new high school in Mission is going to have so many positive impacts on student learning,” Vetter said.

Abbotsford-Mission MLA and agriculture minister Pam Alexis was thrilled to be moving forward with the project and hugged it out with each speaker.

“This funding will support a brand new bigger, safer facility for Mission Secondary students for many years and the scope of this project reflects the need of our growing community,” Alexis said.

Singh said the new school wouldn’t have been possible without the advocacy of Alexis and Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith.

“I could feel the excitement from the room today – how happy people are — so I’m really happy to be delivering this great news,” Singh said.

For the next steps, the school district will complete design work with a deadline to submit plans to the province this summer.

“Now the hard work begins,” MPSD superintendent Angus Wilson said. “So we have to go through the consultation process with a variety of rights holders on the design and all that kind of stuff.”

The ministry is encouraging the district to choose a simpler design since it speeds up the process.

“We know how much the school is needed,” Singh said.

While a host of factors are involved, Wilson estimates Mission could outgrow a single high school in about 30 years.

Singh says the ministry is in continuous talks with the district and listening to their needs as it adapts to growth.

“That’s why the school is coming with more capacity than what it is originally now – 1,500 capacity – which is huge for a high school,” Singh said.

The ministry is also being​​ proactive in looking at potential land purchases for future schools, according to Singh.

Mission Secondary students will remain in the current school until the new building is complete. The current school will be demolished after the replacement is finished.

In March 2023, the ministry announced that funds were earmarked to replace the current Mission Secondary School, pending approval of the district’s plan. A project development report was submitted to the province for the new school in October and the district had been awaiting a response.

READ MORE: Timeline for Mission Secondary replacement ranges from 2027 to 2030

Dillon White

About the Author: Dillon White

I joined the Mission Record in November of 2022 after moving to B.C. from Nova Scotia earlier in the year.
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