Sunday, March 10, 2013

Yarrow News

Hub of Activity

$14.9M Leed Gold Yarrow Community School opens

Released by the BC Gov't


arrow Community School officially opened today amidst the crisp sound of hand bells rung by kindergarten students.


Chilliwack MLA John Les, the Chilliwack board of education and residents celebrated this joyous occasion with students, who highlighted their local history in a drama production with community groups.


“Chilliwack is one of the largest school districts in B.C. and I am delighted that we could replace the old Yarrow Elementary to provide a safe, well-designed facility for our students and for the whole community to enjoy,” said Don McRae, Minister of Education in a release Friday. “Congratulations to the Chilliwack board of education, the City of Chilliwack and my ministry staff for the work you’ve done to create this wonderful school.”

The $14.9-million Yarrow Community School is a seismic replacement of the former Yarrow Elementary school, and it can accommodate up to 475 students from kindergarten to Grade 6. Not only is this school a place where students learn, it also is a place where residents can access various services through the on-site Neighbourhood Learning Centre (NLC).

“I had the opportunity to celebrate the official opening of Yarrow Community school with students and representatives from our community as well as the Chilliwack board of education. It was a great experience to see how much students, staff and residents enjoy this replacement school and the Neighbourhood Learning Centre," said outgoing Liberal MLA John Les. “This facility has become an integral part of our neighbourhood and I look forward to the additional programs it will provide to our residents in the future.”

The 460-square-metre NLC is a partnership between the school district and the City of Chilliwack. It provides child care and diverse recreational programs including soccer, softball, cooking and arts and crafts, as well as science camps for families. The community can also rent the multi-purpose room and the school gymnasium for their meetings or events.

After the opening ceremony, students gave Les and representatives a guided tour of their environmentally-friendly building. Yarrow Community school is built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards and provides plenty of natural lighting with large windows and B.C. wood accents throughout the facility. The school has a geothermal heating and cooling system to reduce energy use. The school also has reduced its water consumption with water-efficient fixtures and native drought-resistant plants in the landscaping.

“The Chilliwack board of education had worked closely with the Ministry of Education and community stakeholders since 2008 to plan for Yarrow Community school. The official opening today is something that we’ve been looking forward to since we first began construction in 2010,” Walt Krahn, acting Chilliwack board of education chair.

“This school and the Neighbourhood Learning Centre are a partnership between our district, the ministry and the municipality. Our students and staff are proud of their new facility and we’d like to thank the Ministry of Education as well as the City of Chilliwack for their support for this project.”

In addition to this recently-completed school, the Province also is investing $52.3 million to replace Chilliwack Secondary school. Construction is currently underway and it is expected to open this September.

Quick Facts:

• The Ministry of Education supported the seismic upgrade of Yarrow Elementary school in the 2005-06 Capital Plan as part of the Seismic Mitigation Program.

• Yarrow Community school is located on the site of Yarrow Elementary. Students continued to study at the elementary school while their replacement school was being constructed.

• The old elementary school was demolished in summer 2012. Students and staff moved into Yarrow Community school in September 2012.

• Since 2001, the Province has invested more than $92.4 million in the Chilliwack school district to complete nine capital and seismic projects including the replacement of Greendale Elementary and the new G.W. Graham Middle-Secondary schools.

• In addition, the Province invested more than $1.2 million for additional space for full-day kindergarten.

• Since 2001, the Province has committed more than $4 billion to school capital and maintenance projects throughout B.C.

• During this time, the government has spent more than $2.4 billion to complete capital projects including 96 new and replacement schools, 151 additions, 27 renovations and 25 site acquisitions across B.C. All new and replacement schools have been constructed to meet the latest seismic standards.

Learn More about BC’s Education Plan:


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