New francophone school open in Comox

Something old, and a whole lot new, was front and centre at the official opening of École au Coeur-de-l'ile in Comox.

École au Coeur-de-l'ile in Comox is now officially open.

Something old, and a whole lot new, was front and centre Tuesday afternoon at the official opening of École au Coeur-de-l’ile in Comox.The new $25-million k-12 francophone school incorporated materials recycled from the former Village Park Elementary School, which stood on the same site at 566 Linshart Rd.Construction of the new school, which has a capacity of 320 students, resulted in the creation of 160 new jobs for the area. Local politicians were joined by students, parents, educators and members of the francophone community for a celebration featuring a musical presentation by the school choir.”As a former teacher myself, I know that this new school will be well-utilized by francophone students for generations to come and the Neighbourhood Learning Centre will extend many benefits to our entire community,” said Comox Valley MLA Don McRae.”This school will be able to accommodate the growth of the francophone community in this important part of the Island and will be at the centre of the vibrant economical diversity and expansion of the Comox Valley on the long term,” conseil scolaire francophone (CSF) board chair Raymond Ouimet told the gathering in the school gym. “This project is a perfect example of what the Ministry of Education and the conseil scolaire francophone can do together for the benefit of the francophone children of this province, and we thank the Government of British Columbia for this investment,” Ouimet added. Comox Mayor Paul Ives thanked the CSF for their efforts over many years to secure a new school and the Province for investing in the community. He said the new school will be a key asset and an important facility for francophones in the community and, in particular, for 19 Wing Comox as they address the needs of their serving members who may be posted here from the rest of Canada.”In terms of the school itself, we are quite pleased to see it constructed to a very high environmental standard (a LEED Gold certification),” Ives said.The new school incorporates many features including: • A Neighbourhood Learning Centre providing space for 20 preschool children.;• Francophone community offices located within the school; • Full-sized gymnasium with full lighting and sound system for use as a theatre;• Performing arts room with full lighting and sound system.École au Coeur-de-l’île was built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards and has numerous green features, including: • Rainwater harvesting to reduce the need for municipal water; • Ground source heat with in-floor heating and natural ventilation; • Use of reclaimed materials and equipment from the existing building;• Garden, orchard and greenhouse for classroom use. As a special feature, École au Coeur-de-l’île is offering the international baccalaureate (IB) middle years program to its students. This program, for students aged 11 to 16, provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers. With the recent opening of Campbell River’s École Mer-et-montagne elementary, francophone students in the area now have two new state-of-the-art,green, comfortable schools, a press release from McRae’s office noted.sports@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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