As students return to class this September to advance their academic skills, École Phoenix Middle school will also be improving, as construction begins on a seismic upgrade. The upgrade is part of the government's Seismic Mitigation Program.
Originally constructed in 1949, École Phoenix was almost completely rebuilt in 1979 after a fire left only the library intact. In 1999, an addition was constructed. The school is divided into eight blocks, six of which require seismic upgrading.
The Ministry of Education and the Campbell River board of education (SD72) have signed a project agreement to deliver the project at a cost of just under $9 million. Included in the budget is $430,000 provided by the school district to upgrade to a metal roof.
Improvements will include the removal of hazardous materials, installing exterior concrete shear walls, and inserting reinforcing steel into concrete blocks.
With the agreement in hand, the district plans to begin construction this year, with completion expected in December 2014. Construction will be phased, with students accommodated in five portable classrooms.
Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education -
"Providing a safe learning setting for all students will always be an education priority. With seismic upgrades beginning this year at École Phoenix, students will continue their learning while vital changes are made to the school environment."
Michele Babchuck, Campbell River board of education chair -
"I'm delighted the seismic upgrade will begin at École Phoenix Middle school. Once completed, the facility will be ready to welcome students for generations to come."
- Since 2001, the Province has invested more than $26.9 million in the Campbell River school district, which includes funding for full-day kindergarten.
- Most recently, École des Deux Mondes, Southgate Middle and École Willow Point Elementary underwent seismic upgrades in the district.
- Since 2001, government has spent or committed $2.2 billion to seismically upgrade or replace 213 high-risk schools. It is anticipated it will cost a further $600 million to address the remaining 102 high-risk schools in the province.
- The School Seismic Mitigation Program is backed by leading B.C. engineers and geoscientists who designed new guidelines for seismic safety in schools based on the latest research from major earthquakes around the globe.
- Since 2001, the government has spent more than $2.5 billion to complete 99 new and replacement schools, 151 additions, 27 renovations and 26 site acquisitions throughout B.C.
BC's Education Plan: http://WWW.BCEDPLAN.CA
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education