Students at West Sechelt Elementary thank council for vital road and pathway upgrade

Sechelt council got to see the result of their efforts when students from West Sechelt Elementary School, along with parent advisory committee (PAC) representatives came to thank them for the recent safety improvements around their school.

Magnus Enfeldt presented a delegation at the May 15 regular council, highlighting the changes that have come to West Sechelt Elementary and displaying before and after pictures.

In a later interview with Coast Reporter, Enfeldt said some of these improvements began back during the COVID-19 pandemic and that a traffic safety report was submitted to council back in 2022 highlighting the need for this change.

Enfeldt said one of the biggest challenges was the lack of sidewalks along roads students use to get to school and for field trips around the community.

The first improved area Enfeldt showed to council was the Norwest Bay Road-Mason Road intersection with improved crosswalks and new pathways where gravel roadsides used to exist. He called it a massive improvement for parents picking up or dropping off children.

Road sections without proper sidewalks now have speedbumps, signage, controlled crossing and bike paths on both sides, he said.

Gravel pathways along Creekside Place near Mason Place and Mason Road were also improved, and now have painted lines, bike paths, crosswalks and separation between pedestrians and vehicles, Enfeldt said.

He explained that many students walk from the school with their teachers to the nearby botanical garden and due to the conditions, they had to walk on the road, whereas now they have a clear separation from cars with a concrete divider and paved walkway.

Mason Road was also improved down to the Sunshine Coast Highway, where many students walk to the beach. Here, gravel roadsides have been paved, fresh paint and lines drawn and a raised sidewalk was added for students to use.

Enfeldt also highlighted improvements across North Bay and McCourt Road, where a crosswalk was realigned, and pedestrian-controlled lights were installed.

At Enfeldt’s side were seven students from the school, who presented council with a (huge) thank-you card, signed by all the students at West Sechelt Elementary.

He said these improvements were examples of ways local government can bring great change to its community.

“Just trying to show the difference council is making to our school, so thank you very much,” Enfeldt said.

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

Jordan Copp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Coast Reporter