VANCOUVER — Vancouver now has six schools under construction as part of efforts to invest in seismic upgrades and replacements in neighbourhood schools across the city.
“All parents deserve to send their children to school with the comfort of knowing that if an earthquake hits, students will be protected,” said Rob Fleming, B.C. minister of education, in a press release. “After years of underinvestment in school safety in Vancouver, our government took immediate action to upgrade and replace schools as fast as possible, and we’re very proud of the progress we’re making. We have doubled the pace of seismic project approvals compared to the last government.”
Since September 2017, the province has promised more than $325 million for seismic upgrades or replacements at 12 Vancouver schools.
The six under construction are:
- General Wolfe Elementary — seismic upgrade (expected completion fall 2021)
- Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary — seismic replacement (expected completion winter 2021-22)
- Bayview Elementary — seismic replacement (expected completion winter 2021-22)
- Lord Byng Secondary — seismic upgrade (expected completion fall 2021)
- Lord Selkirk Elementary — seismic upgrade (expected completion spring 2021)
- Chief Maquinna Elementary — seismic upgrade (expected completion fall 2021)
“The progress on these projects brings us closer to our goal of having all students in seismically safe schools as soon as possible,” said Janet Fraser, chair of the Vancouver School Board. “We are also glad these buildings will serve the school and local communities in years to come.”
While improving the seismic safety of schools, the province is also taking the opportunity to work with the Vancouver School Board and the City of Vancouver to invest in new early learning spaces on school grounds. Through investments from the Childcare BC plan, there are 3,134 new child care spaces coming to Vancouver schools.
“As the mother of a six-year-old, I know how hard it can be to find child care. That’s why I was so proud when our government introduced legislative changes that make it easier for school boards to create and operate child care spaces,” said Katrina Chen, minister of state for child care. “Having child care on school grounds helps busy families with pickups and drop-offs and can help young children develop a lifelong appreciation for learning.”