Despite an ongoing dispute with the B.C Teachers Federation, Education Minister George Abbott signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in China paving the way for two new B.C.-certified offshore schools in Shanghai.

LANGLEY – Education Minister George Abbott was joined by Langley MLA Mary Polak and the Langley board of education today to sign a project agreement for the new elementary school in the South East Yorkson area.

The Province has committed more than $19 million to the project, which includes $12.6 million for construction of the school and $6.7 million for the purchase of the site.
The agreement was signed at the site of the future school, which is currently an empty field on 77a Ave. in Langley. This new facility will accommodate up to 510 students from kindergarten to Grade 7. It will utilize B.C. wood as much as possible and adhere to LEED Gold or equivalent environmental standards. Local residents will also benefit from community programs that will be offered at the on-site Neighbourhood Learning Centre (NLC).

With the project agreement now in place, the Langley board of education will tender for the construction of the school. Construction will begin this summer and the school will open in September 2013.

While this school moves forward, the new $13.3-million Lynn Fripps Elementary is now mid-way through construction and is on budget and on time. The school is scheduled to open this September and will accommodate up to 510 kindergarten-to-Grade 7 students.

In addition, planning for a new middle school in the Yorkson area is underway. That school is expected to be open by September 2014.

George Abbott, Minister of Education said “The new elementary school for South East Yorkson will provide additional space for students in this growing community and will include a new Neighbourhood Learning Centre to provide services to families.”

“As we move ahead with the new elementary school, we have also reached the half-way point for the construction of the new Lynn Fripps Elementary and are moving forward with plans for a new middle school. Together, these projects will provide local students and with modern learning facilities that we can all be proud of.”
Mary Polak, MLA Langley said “As a resident of Willoughby, I look forward to the local programs and services that will be available at these schools. Schools are a key part of our children’s lives and these Neighbourhood Learning Centres will be integral to our community as well.”

Wendy Johnson, chair, Langley board of education – “The Langley board of education is very pleased to be able to sign the project agreement to confirm the construction of the new Elementary school for the South East Yorkson neighbourhood. With the opening of Lynn Fripps Elementary this September, followed by the opening of the South East Yorkson school in September 2013 and the new middle school in 2014, we are making important progress in addressing the needs of families in the fast growing Willoughby area.”

“We remain committed to working closely with our local and provincial governments to ensure we are proactive in planning for the future in this high growth region.”