The Ministry of Education and the Vancouver school board have signed a project agreement for a seismic upgrade to Queen Mary Elementary at an estimated cost of $16.7 million. The upgrade will revive the heritage, red-brick 1914 building and replace the rest of the school with new construction.
With this project agreement now in place, the school board will begin the school's seismic upgrade in spring 2013 with expected completion in fall 2015. The school will accommodate up to 40 kindergarten and 350 students in grades 1-7 once completed. This renovation will bring the school up to current building standards and provide students and staff with a secure environment in the event of an earthquake.
Queen Mary Elementary was originally constructed in 1914 and has significant heritage value. The exterior of the 1914 portion will be preserved, while the interior will be renovated to provide a more functional, 21st century learning environment for students. The remaining facility will be replaced with new buildings that will follow Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold or equivalent standards.
One of the most exciting additions to Queen Mary Elementary will be a Neighbourhood Learning Centre (NLC), which will provide various services to residents. The NLC will feature two StrongStart BC centres and a 663-square-metre Learning Connections Space. There will also be areas for performances, enhanced music and art programs, a library and a multi-purpose room.
Premier Christy Clark, Vancouver-Point Grey MLA -
"Upgrading older schools to withstand an earthquake is a priority of our government. The seismic renovations to Queen Mary Elementary will provide a safe environment for students to learn while preserving important heritage characteristics of the building."
Don McRae, Minister of Education -
"Our student enrolment has changed throughout the province in recent years, and one of our key goals is to create schools that provide education to students as well as services to neighbourhoods. Queen Mary Elementary is an excellent example of how we can revive schools to serve students and local residents."
Patti Bacchus, Vancouver school board chair -
"We are excited to proceed with the renovation of Queen Mary Elementary. The project agreement is the result of public feedback and careful planning by the school board, the ministry staff and our partners. Not only will we be able to upgrade this school to provide a modern, safe environment for our students and visitors, but we will preserve the school's unique characteristics as well."
- The school was originally constructed in 1914 with subsequent additions in 1926, 1955 and 1964.
- The B.C. government supported Queen Mary Elementary's seismic upgrade as part of its 2005 Seismic Mitigation program.
- In 2008, Queen Mary Elementary was selected as one of three schools in B.C. to participate in the NLC pilot.
- Since 2001, 18 capital and 22 seismic projects worth more than $188 million have been completed in the Vancouver school district.
- In addition, the B.C. government has invested more than $6.9 million for additional space for full-day kindergarten.
- Since 2005, the government has completed 121 school seismic structural upgrades, 14 are under construction, eight schools have been approved to proceed to construction and a further 26 projects have been approved to proceed and are in planning, including 14 new projects announced in May - for a total of 169 seismic projects complete or proceeding.
- Overall, since 2001, government has spent more than $840 million on seismic upgrading of schools in 37 school districts in B.C., with more than $4 billion for school capital and maintenance projects throughout the province.
BC's Education Plan: www.bcedplan.ca
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education