New arts and technology-focused school opens in Chilliwack

Released: Thursday, September 2, 2021 10:03 AM

Students who are inspired by music, video game development, art and robotics will start this school year off in the new Imagine High Integrated Arts and Technology Secondary school.

The school has space for 700 students in grades 9 to 12.

“Opening new schools is an exciting way to start the school year, and I’m pleased to see students getting an arts and technology-focused education that will prepare them for post-secondary and career opportunities,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “Building capacity in fast-growing communities is one way our government is ensuring B.C. students have the best-possible learning experience.”

The new Imagine High Integrated Arts and Technology Secondary school is located at the former campus of University of the Fraser Valley North. The site was ideal for converting to a secondary school, as it already has classrooms and an auditorium. The building was renovated to align with secondary-school programming with an arts and technology focus, including music, dance and art studios, a high-end theatre, culinary arts spaces and a new gymnasium.

“We are thrilled to see the opening of our Imagine High Integrated Arts and Technology Secondary school,” said Willow Reichelt, chair, Chilliwack Board of Education. “We are thankful the Province saw the benefits of funding this innovative project that will draw students from throughout the district to engage in a new way of learning.”

The Province provided $25.4 million in funding for the school, including $15.4 million for the expansion project and $10 million for the land purchase. The renovations were completed within one year.

“This investment demonstrates our government’s forward-looking approach to supporting students, families and communities,” said Dan Coulter, MLA for Chilliwack. “An arts and technology-focused education is a great foundation for students to thrive and innovate in B.C.’s economy.”

Alicia Fleetham, chair, Chilliwack District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC), said, “Chilliwack is a rapidly growing community in both size and culture, and DPAC feels Imagine High is both a timely and fitting addition to the education offerings in our school district. As parents and caregivers, we are excited to have this opportunity available for students to access their education through a diverse learning approach and environment that expands their post-secondary potential.”

Budget 2021 includes almost $3.5 billion for school capital investments, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and site purchases to ensure land is in place to accommodate fast-growing communities throughout the province.

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