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Whistler Secondary expansion approved

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Whistler Secondary will gets its new science lab, centre for the arts, and classroom space after all.

The high school’s expansion plans were put on hold when the Liberal government announced that all capital projects would be reviewed during their quest to cut costs.

But after an extensive review the Ministry of Education has given the green light for the expansion of Whistler Secondary.

"We are quite ecstatic because as you know all capital projects were under review and we weren’t exactly that optimistic about ours," said Whistler Secondary principal Ken Davies.

"It is wonderful that this has come through because we definitely need more classrooms and specialty classroom space."

Davies said some of the classrooms on the second floor are too small and this expansion will allow the school to have rooms of a more traditional size.

Just as well, said Davies, as class sizes will likely be larger as schools and districts struggle to cope with budget cuts.

A new science lab will mean that kids in Grade 7 to 12 will get more hands on experience with equipment and experiments.

At the moment there is only one science lab in the school.

The area for the performing arts, visual arts, and dramatic arts will also get a makeover with more space being allotted to these disciplines.

Davies said work would now begin on revising plans as the enrolment has been reduced to 500 from 550 for expansion plans.

The move of all Grade 7s to the new Spring Creek School and back to Myrtle Philip will also affect the expansion plans said Davies.

"Now what we have to do is roll up our sleeves and get back to work in looking at what are best educational decisions for the plans for this particular building," he said.

"We need to be in concert with the architects and present things to the ministry and if everything goes according to plan one of these days we will break ground."

No date has been set yet for the start of construction.

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