Major construction began at Queen Mary Elementary, a near-century-old educational landmark that will have its interior overhauled and seismically upgraded while its historical exterior gets restored and preserved.
First opened in 1914, Queen Mary Elementary has been designated a heritage property by the City of North Vancouver due to its architectural, historic and contextual importance.
The $19.1-million project will see the school's existing interior fully replaced, modernized and upgraded to current building and seismic codes. Exterior renovations will preserve the building's historic character. Key design elements will be maintained, and worn or damaged structures and features will be rebuilt or reconditioned. Work on the school grounds will include playground landscaping, updating play areas and refurbishing hard surface areas.
The restored and upgraded Queen Mary will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold or equivalent standards. These standards address water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environment quality. Schools built to LEED Gold standards produce significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to older schools and can result in operational savings of up to 60 per cent.
Construction on the school is expected to be completed by September 2013.
North Vancouver board of education chair Franci Stratton -
"For almost 100 years, Queen Mary Elementary has served as both a school of great diversity and sentry of learning on the North Vancouver landscape. As a heritage building, it recalls the long-standing value we place upon education in our community. We thank the ministry, the City of North Vancouver and our partners in development for recognizing the importance of this building and supporting its rebuilding and restoration for present and future generations."
- While construction is underway, Queen Mary Elementary students are attending school a few blocks away at Cloverley Elementary.
- After construction, Queen Mary will have the capacity to accommodate 350 elementary and 120 kindergarten students. It will also include 478 square metres of space for a Neighbourhood Learning Centre.
- Since 2001, the government has spent $87.7 million to complete 16 capital and seismic projects in the North Vancouver school district, including the replacement of Highlands Elementary.
- In addition, the Province has invested $195,000 in School District 44 for 13 classroom conversions for full-day kindergarten.
- Currently, 136 school seismic upgrade projects across B.C. have been completed, are under construction or are proceeding to construction.
- Seismic safety is also a key component of government's revitalization of school infrastructure. All of the 83 new and replacement schools built since 2001 are modern, safe, seismically-sound buildings.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education