Hornby Island students are one step closer to a new school.

Construction is underway to replace the one that was destroyed by fire back in August 2018.

“Students deserve to learn in safe and inspiring schools that give them the best chance to succeed,” said education minister, Jennifer Whiteside. 

“With a new, modern school coming to Hornby Island, local students will have a better learning experience for generations to come. This will be more than a new school. As a community centre, it will benefit all Hornby Island residents.”

The province is providing $10.4 million for a new, 95-seat Hornby Island Community school.

It’s scheduled to be ready for students by September 2022.

The  province says once built, it will give students a modern, new school that better aligns with 21st-century learning. 

“The former Hornby Island Community school was truly the heart of the island’s community,” said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. 

“After it burned down, I’m proud that our government was quick to provide short-term classrooms for local students so they could keep learning nearby, and I’m thankful the new school will soon give them the long-term, safe and modern learning environment they deserve.”

“The daycare students next door take a keen interest in progress and keep the community informed about the big equipment at work. It’s exciting to see the structure take shape knowing our students and community will be back in such a wonderful, safe learning centre one day soon,” said Comox Valley School Board chair, Sheila McDonnell. 

“The logistics of creating a temporary school and now moving so efficiently with the new building dealt many extra challenges. We commend the entire project team, SD71 staff and contractors for their stellar work.”

Hornby Island residents used the old elementary school throughout the year. 

The largest facility on Hornby, it also contained the island’s only gymnasium. 

The new school will include an expanded gymnasium that will be available for community programming. It will be rebuilt on the same site.