Ministry of Education Press Release:
PRINCE GEORGE – The community of Giscome will soon have a new modular school to replace its elementary school demolished this summer, Education Minister Don McRae and Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond announced today.
This facility is part of the government’s $10-million modular school replacement pilot program to renew aging infrastructures in rural B.C.
Giscome Elementary was built in 1957 to serve families in a town growing rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s. In 2009, the Prince George board of education voted to close the school due to its deteriorating conditions and declining student enrolment. After consultation with residents, portable classrooms were put on site so students can continue to learn in their community, instead of travelling to Blackburn Elementary in Prince George.
The new modular Giscome Elementary will continue to accommodate students in kindergarten to Grade 7. In contrast to portables, modular classrooms are a permanent solution for school space and have a 40-year life span. They feature bright, open designs with high ceilings and windows for plenty of natural light and cross-ventilation. The Giscome modular will also utilize B.C. wood as much as possible.
The Prince George school district is working with the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George to determine a location for the new modular school. The objective behind projects like this is to ensure students can go to school close to home.
In addition to Giscome Elementary, the B.C. government also is creating modular schools in Nisga’a, Nechako Lakes and Nicola-Similkameen to provide a new, modern learning environment for students in small communities. All of these modular schools are expected to open in September 2013.
Don McRae, Minister of Education –
“Providing safe, modern learning facilities for our students and staff is our number-one priority. Schools are a vital part of communities especially in small towns like Giscome.”
“I am delighted that the Prince George board of education and Giscome residents are part of the government’s modular school pilot program, so that we can create this new facility for Giscome children.”
Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount –
“The Giscome school replacement has been a priority for me. It is great news for the students and their families that they will be part of the modular school replacement program. We look forward to the new school being in place and ready to welcome students in September of 2013.”
- Giscome is located approximately 40 kilometres from Prince George.
- Currently, 20 students are enrolled in kindergarten to Grade 7 in Giscome Elementary.
- Since 2001, the government of B.C. has invested approximately $55 million in the Prince George school district (SD 57). This includes an addition to Southridge Elementary, an addition to College Heights Secondary, a replacement school for Valemount Secondary, and a replacement school for Duchess Park Secondary.
- During the same period, more than $4 billion have been committed to school capital and maintenance projects throughout British Columbia. The government has also spent more than $2.1 billion to complete 93 new and replacement schools, 150 additions, 27 renovation projects and 22 site acquisitions throughout B.C.
- All new and replacement schools have been constructed to meet the latest seismic standards.