New school site for elementary students in Wilden

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Students, families and school staff in Kelowna's Wilden neighbourhood can look forward to a new elementary school now that a site has been purchased to meet growing demand in the community.

"Students and families want and deserve schools near their homes, and this new site ensures land is in place to build a school that can serve families in Wilden for generations," said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. "As Kelowna continues to grow, we will be working with the school board to make sure we can provide all students with the best learning experience possible in schools that support their development and their success."

The Government of B.C. is providing $1.9 million for the Central Okanagan School District to buy the site, while the district will contribute $5.5 million. The site is in Wilden Village, a part of Kelowna with significant residential growth and increased enrolment over the past five years.

With the property acquired, the Ministry of Education will work with the Central Okanagan School District to find the best path in the coming years to build a new elementary school on the site. This will provide local students with a modern learning environment and free up more student spaces at nearby schools.

"We appreciate that the ministry has approved the purchase of this site," said Moyra Baxter, chair, Central Okanagan Board of Education. "As a growing district, we need to be able to plan for the future. We look forward to continuing to work with government to meet our capital needs."

To further support students in the Central Okanagan, the new HS Grenda Middle school is opening September 2021 in Lake Country. The school is a $40-million project that will add 600 new student seats to the community.

Budget 2021 is building on this momentum with $3.5 billion for capital investments in schools, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools.