British Columbia’s provincial government plans to spend $3.7 million to help replace the Saanich School District’s Children’s Development Centre.
The Ministry of Education announced the funding Wednesday.
“This unique facility serves some of the most vulnerable students in Saanich and we’re acting to ensure they have the modern, safe school they deserve,” Education Minister Rob Fleming said in a news release.
The $3.7 million, along with a $500,000 contribution from the Saanich Board of Education, will allow the full replacement of the Children’s Development Centre and the construction of a new learning centre — the Alternate Learning Program — that will provide on-site mental health supports for youth and families. Both centres will be housed within the new facility, located in Cordova Bay.
Both centres support elementary and middle school students who struggle in traditional school settings, according to the ministry. Students at the centres attend a 20-week school experience while working to reintegrate into their neighbourhood schools.
The new facility will be seismically safe, according to the ministry.
“A brand new, safe facility is a welcome addition to Saanich, and I’m thrilled to see it being improved so it can continue to give our students the supports they need,” Saanich South MLA Lana Popham said in the release.
Construction is set to begin in spring 2020, with the project expected to be completed by September 2021.