(File photo)

A brand new $4.2 million Children’s Development Centre is coming to Saanich, according to the BC government.

The multi-million dollar facility is being built to replace the current Children’s Development Centre located in Cordova Bay, which was found to be below modern seismic safety standards back in 2018.

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The centre offers an Alternate Learning Program that supports elementary and middle school students who have difficulty learning in traditional school settings.

Students who attend the centre take part in a 20-week “school experience” that is designed to foster social and emotional growth and help prepare children for reintegration into neighbourhood schools.

“Programs at the Children’s Development Centre have made positive, impactful changes in the lives of countless students throughout our community,” said Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South in a statement.

“A brand new, safe facility is a welcome addition to Saanich, and I’m thrilled to see it being improved so it can continue to give our students the supports they need.”

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The new centre will feature two educational programs in one modern building, one for children in kindergarten to Grade 5, and one for students from Grades 6 to 8.

Construction of the building is scheduled to begin in spring 2020 and is expected to be ready for students in September 2021.

The construction timing is designed to allow current students to remain in the existing facility while the new one is being built.

In total, the project is expected to cost approximately $4.2 million, with the BC government providing $3.7 million and the Saanich Board of Education contributing $500,000.

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