Construction of an expansion at Valleyview secondary school is officially underway and a couple of amenities are already in place.
A new parking lot and a newly turfed school field will be available for students and staff use come the first day of school.
“As we move more equipment in to do the construction, we will need a place for people to park, so that’s why this was done first,” Valleyview secondary principal Barb Hamblett said.
“And part of our field will actually be usable, not for sport or high activity, but students will be able to be on it.”
The Kamloops-Thompson school district awarded the $34.5-million school expansion contract to Alberta construction company Dawson Wallace Construction. Site preparation work was well underway this past June.
The school expansion will see a new two-storey wing rise on to the east side of the original building and eat up about half of a sports field.
Built to LEED Gold standards, the project will add 20 classrooms, a new gymnasium, multi-purpose areas and new education spaces to the school. It will also have dedicated wall space projectors, gender-neutral private washrooms and change rooms and learning and gathering areas inside and outside the building.
The new addition is on track to open by September 2022.
Based on Ministry of Education calculations, the current Valleyview secondary has a capacity of 675 students and this addition will bring its capacity to 1,200 by adding space for another 525 pupils. Valleyview however, already has a population of about 1,000 students, but the expansion is expected to eliminate the need for some 10 portables added to the site over the years.
The Kamloops-Thompson school district is contributing $1.75 million toward the cost of the project, with the remaining $32.75 million covered by the provincial government.