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New wing still in the works for Whistler secondary


A new $4.7 million classroom wing for Whistler secondary is still in the planning stages, but the Howe Sound School Board hopes to put the project out to tender in the summer.

"It’s in the planning process right now, but there are all kinds of hoops to jump through before you get to the point where you’re sticking a shovel in the ground," says school board treasurer John Heatherington.

The funding has already been set aside for the project, but the school board has other capital projects on the agenda that are a larger priority.

"Definitely it’s on. I’m hoping to get tenders on the Signal Hill School expansion in Pemberton this summer, so that’s a start, and a little later we’re hoping to get some tenders out on Spring Creek, but we’re not too sure on that one yet. Whistler secondary wouldn’t be until after that," says Heatherington.

The expansion, which was the board’s number one capital funding priority two years ago and for which funding was approved last April, would increase the school’s capacity from 225 to 550 students and allow for the removal of the portables. There is also a long range capital plan in the works that would see the capacity increased to 700. WSS currently accommodates about 335 students.

Other capital projects, including a new bus for Pemberton and health and safety action plans to upgrade heating systems at Stawamus and Mamquam elementary schools were deferred until this year, and were recently approved by the Ministry of Education. The district received word last week it will receive $1.1 million for capital projects this year.