RICHMOND, B.C. – The Province of B.C. recently announced it will contribute $11.4 million to fund seismic upgrades at a Richmond elementary school.
“We’re making tremendous progress on seismic safety in Richmond, and I’m excited to keep that momentum going,” said Rob Fleming, minister of education, in a press release. “With this announcement, we have now approved more than $1 billion for seismic upgrades, new and expanded schools, and land purchases for future schools, so we can give B.C. students the best educational experience possible.”
Construction on Mitchell Elementary, which involves a partial replacement of the school’s original block, is expected to commence this fall and wrap up in 2021. The original building was built in 1960 with additions in 1964, 1975 and 1991. In 2017 it was identified to be at risk for seismic damage. Of the 28 high-risk schools in Richmond, three have been upgraded, while five are under construction or proceeding to construction.
Students will be able to remain onsite throughout the project and the child care programs will not be interrupted.
“We are very pleased to be receiving funding from the Ministry of Education to seismically upgrade Mitchell Elementary school,” said Scott Robinson, superintendent of the Richmond School District. “Today’s announcement ensures that staff and students at Mitchell Elementary will have a safe learning environment that supports their educational journey. As we move forward, the Richmond School District remains committed to working with the ministry to improve the safety of the facilities within our school community.”
Since 2017, the ministry has approved more than $1 billion in school capital projects in the province.
The projects have resulted in 5,625 new student spaces at new and expanded schools, 18,300 seismically safe seats at 29 schools and six land purchases for future schools throughout B.C.
The project funding brings total seismic upgrade funding at Richmond schools to $38.2 million. Other schools that have received upgrades are Hugh Boyd Secondary, Robert Tait Elementary and W.D. Ferris Elementary. Six more seismic projects are under business case development.