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Burnaby gets provincial support for new Brentwood elementary school

The district hopes to have the 800-student school at 4900 Dawson St. open by September 2028.

A new elementary school to relieve overcrowding in Burnaby's rapidly growing Brentwood neighbourhood is one step closer to reality with official support from the province announced this month.

The proposed $65-million, 800-student school at 4900 Dawson St. was a top priority in the five-year capital plan the school district submitted to the Ministry of Education and Child Care in June.

Secretary-treasurer Ishver Khunguray said the district got a letter from the ministry just before spring break announcing the province's support for the project.

That doesn't mean there are actual provincial dollars attached to the plan yet, but the letter does allow the district to move on to the next step of completing a detailed business case for the project.

Education Minister Rachna Singh was in Burnaby Wednesday to share the news.

"They have a green light to go ahead and start doing the work required to make this project feasible," Rachna told the NOW. "At this time, it is difficult to say what budget it will be, but we are supporting the project."

The new school is needed to take pressure off existing schools in the area and to accommodate anticipated enrolment growth from the many new towers planned.

Even without those highrises, Khunguray said there are already 450 children living in the future school's catchment.

Currently many of those students are at Brentwood Park Elementary, which has cluster of portables outside of the school proper.

"Once this new school's built, we'd be able to move some of these portables to other sites," Khunguray said.

One important step will be buying the city-owned property that has been earmarked for the school.

Khunguray said the project could see shovels in the ground in a year-and-a-half.

The district's "working target" to get the school open is 2028, he said.

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