The Burnaby Board of Education unanimously approved a new Long-Range Facilities Plan that continues to place students at the centre of future plans for school buildings.
The multi-year plan will have a tremendous impact on the shape of things to come, as it guides the Board in capital plan submissions, which are requests for provincial funding for projects such as new schools, expansions and seismic upgrades.
The new Long-Range Facilities Plan is informed with data from the City of Burnaby and was created after a period of consultation with First Nations Elders, as well as engagement with parents, students, staff and the community. This fulsome strategic document lays out a roadmap for facilities by capturing how to best meet upcoming educational needs, while anticipating challenges and population growth in Burnaby.
Board Chair Bill Brassington says consultation and engagement were vital to creating the plan:
We shared the reality that we face as a school district in a rapidly growing city. It is a wonderful opportunity to have conversations one-on-one and share the challenges we face. This is work that cannot be done without information, feedback and input. On behalf of all the Trustees, I would like to thank, Elders, students, teachers, parents and staff for engaging and for sharing with the Burnaby Board of Education.”
The resulting Long-Range Facilities Plan outlines a strategic vision for our buildings that is driven by educational programming needs for students now and in the future. Superintendent Gina Niccoli-Moen:
Students are at the centre of all we do. In addition to looking at space requirements for the increasing number of children and youth in Burnaby, the plan’s ultimate purpose is to support teaching and learning. From particular program requirements, to flexibility of learning spaces and connection to the outdoors, educational priorities are at the heart of this plan.”
Input from partners and individuals was sought through in-person open houses, presentations and online surveys. Nearly 1800 people responded in 17 different languages to the electronic survey. They shared more than 1400 thoughts and ideas, including about top priorities for the learning environment and considerations as we plan for locations and possible sites.
Feedback themes from the engagement included: meeting the needs of a growing student population, vehicle traffic flow and walkability, connection to outdoors, space for learning and playing outside, building amenities, flexibility of learning spaces, cultural considerations and space for services such as child care. More information about the feedback respondents shared with the District can be found in the appendices of the Long-Range Facilities Plan.
The information gathered from stakeholders helped to inform the plan and will be of further use when considering designs for new buildings, additions, and renovations, as we plan for the future of facilities in the Burnaby School District.
Posted May 2023