Board eyes replacement for Mission secondary

Mission high school first welcomed students in 1952

 

The decision to name Mission secondary as the district’s new senior high school drew promises from trustees to seek a replacement for the 62-year-old school from the province.

Twenty-five years after Mission Junior and Mission Senior High schools merged, Mission secondary will once again undergo a major transformation next fall.

Trustees say the school is the best suited to serve as a senior high school and will need only around $1.5 million in funding to accommodate around 100 more students.

But school board chair Edie Heinrichs said replacing the school will likely become a priority for whomever is elected to the board this fall.

Heinrichs said the board has spoken to Education Minister Peter Fassbender about starting a capital account to replace the school.

“What we were told is you build a plan, and we may have a discussion. Not a big promise but I’m hanging on to it,” she said. “Having a new high school in Mission would be incredible. Absolutely incredible. And I see it as an absolute necessity because that building just simply won’t stay there much longer.”

Those hopes were echoed by the three other trustees present at last Monday’s meeting and who voted for Mission secondary to become the district’s new senior high school. (Carol Hamilton was absent).

Despite the desire for a new school, trustees said they were satisfied that Mission secondary will be able to handle the 1,200 or so Grade 10, 11 and 12 students who will fill it next year.

“There’s not much wrong with the building,” Trustee Shelley Carter said. “We will make sure it’s the best possible place for the school to be.”

Vice-chair Jim Taylor equated the school to a car, which may be running fine, but which may need a replacement in the near future.

Heinrichs told the crowd at the meeting that trustees will press the government to achieve that goal.

“I will bug them for four years and I will not stop doing it,” she said. “I don’t think there’s anybody who will be running for election who won’t want to have that for Mission.”

Abbotsford-Mission MLA Simon Gibson said he would be happy to hear the board’s plan to replace Mission secondary, once it is developed.

“As they proceed and put something together that’s more definite, I’ll be happy to work with them to advance their cause,” he said.

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