VANCOUVER — The Province of British Columbia recently announced it will provide $79.3 million in funding for a full replacement of the Eric Hamber Secondary school, making it the largest seismic project in Vancouver’s history.
Minister of Education Rob Fleming said in a statement that, “Today’s announcement moves us one step closer to achieving our goal of ensuring all British Columbian students can receive a quality education in a state-of-the-art, safe and healthy school.”
The school, which houses 1,700 students in Grades 8 to 12, opened in 1962.
It has had several additions and renovations over the years.
However, the structure needs further upgrades and was recently deemed high risk in the event of an earthquake, explains a release.
“Vancouver students and their families have been waiting for schools that will be safe in the event of an earthquake,” said Fleming.
The new school will be built to LEED Gold standards, and will include sustainable low-toxic materials, natural light, fresh air, energy conservation, habitat protection and reduced demand on local landfills. The new school will also accommodate a child care facility.
The design and construction of the new facility will be sourced through a design-build process, Patricia MacNeil, communications director for the Vancouver School Board explained in an email.
“The design-build contract is expected to be awarded in early 2020,” she said.
Construction is slated to begin in summer 2020, and the new Eric Hamber Secondary is expected to welcome students in fall 2022.
The new school will be built next to the existing building, on the northwest corner of the site.
The plan will allow students to remain in the existing school during construction, which will prevent the need for portables.
“Using the existing school rather than temporary accommodation during construction saves approximately $16 million in costs over the seismic upgrade,” the release stated.