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For Immediate Release

May 24, 2012

Ministry of Education



New $23M school models sustainability, supports community


SIDNEY – Students celebrated the official opening of the new North Saanich Middle school today by highlighting the environmentally friendly features of the new school in a presentation to Education Minister George Abbott, MLA Murray Coell and Saanich school district officials.


The new school, which can accommodate up to 400 students from grades 6 to 8, meets B.C.’s Wood First Initiative by incorporating wood as much as possible and follows LEED Gold or equivalent environmental standards. Heat is generated by a ground source heat pump and solar hot water panels. Solar panels and a wind turbine generate some of the school’s electricity. The school has an automatic light adjustment system to conserve energy and a greenhouse to teach children about growing food.


North Saanich Middle also serves local residents as a hub for community services through an on-site Neighbourhood Learning Centre (NLC). The NLC has an enlarged gym available for community use as well as a multi-purpose room that can be used for meetings or changed into a full theatre with sound system for performances. The school district has also partnered with the Peninsula Recreation Commission to offer fitness, fine arts and recreational programs through the new NLC.





George Abbott, Minister of Education –


A key goal of the BC’s Education Plan is to create schools that inspire student learning and help support vibrant communities. The new North Saanich Middle school is a model of environmental sustainability and community partnership that will serve students and residents for years to come.”


Murray Coell, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands –


“The new North Saanich Middle school will replace the existing building with a state-of-the-art facility and brand-new modern equipment. It’s exciting to see how schools such as North Saanich Middle can bring our entire community closer together.”


Wayne Hunter, chair, Saanich board of education –


“The Saanich school district is proud to have a modern facility such as North Saanich Middle school in our district. This school is the result of our close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Peninsula Recreation Commission as well as extensive consultations with our community stakeholders.”


“Students, parents and teachers all played a role in the design of this school. We will continue to work with the ministry and our partners to provide creative services and programs for students as well as local families.”



Quick Facts:


·         North Saanich Middle school opened its doors to students in March and currently serves 380 students in grades 6 to 8.

·         In 2009, it was announced that the old North Saanich Middle school would be replaced with a modern facility.

·         The original school was built in 1944 with several subsequent additions during its 68-year history. The old school is slated for demolition.

·         Since 2001, our government has invested more than $55.6 million in capital projects in the Saanich school district, including Kelset Elementary, the replacement Royal Oak Middle school and an addition to Prospect Lake Elementary.

·         Our government has also invested more than $2.1 million for additional full-day kindergarten space in the Saanich school district.

·         Since 2001, our government has spent more than $2.1 billion to complete 93 new and replacement schools, 150 additions, 27 renovations and 22 site acquisitions in B.C.

·         Our government is currently working to upgrade, replace and build a total of 60 schools across B.C. over the next four years. The total cost of these projects is approximately $1.5 billion.



Learn More:


Saanich school district (SD 63):

BC’s Education Plan: WWW.BCEDPLAN.CA

B.C.’s Wood-First Initiative:





Government Communications and Public Engagement

Ministry of Education

250 356-5963



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