After 122 years of public service, Lord Strathcona Elementary is getting a $25.6-million seismic upgrade, Education Minister Peter Fassbender announced today.
Originally constructed in 1891 and located in the city's downtown eastside, Lord Strathcona is one of the oldest continuously operating schools in British Columbia. It is the only elementary school in the area and has legal heritage designation from the City of Vancouver.
Three of the school's five buildings will be upgraded. Another 1972 building is not considered high risk, and one built in 1922 will become surplus once the upgrade is complete. During construction, students will be relocated to classes in the two buildings where work is not being undertaken. Given the complexity of the project, extensive engineering consultation and due diligence were conducted to assess the project requirements and to ensure completion within budget.
Once the seismic upgrade is complete, the school will be compliant with current building code performance requirements and provide a safe, low seismic risk learning environment. The structurally upgraded school will accommodate up to 510 students, including 60 kindergarten students and 450 grades 1-7 students.
The project will also include additional space for a Neighbourhood Learning Centre to serve the school and area residents through an expanded partnership with the Lord Strathcona Community Centre. The centre will feature a larger music room, youth and family counselling, enhanced library for French immersion, a performance space, out-of-school care and a learning exchange centre.
Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education -
"This is truly a unique project. It is one of the oldest elementary schools in B.C. and has served as an important neighbourhood focal point for over 122 years. With this upgrade and a new Neighbourhood Learning Centre, Lord Strathcona will continue to serve students and the community for decades to come."
Patti Bacchus, chair, Vancouver school board -
"We are so happy the upgrade to Strathcona Elementary can now move ahead. I'd like to thank the Ministry of Education for working with the Vancouver school board, VSB staff and the Strathcona school community to make the seismic upgrade and heritage preservation of this school a reality."
- Through capital investments, the B.C. government has spent or committed more than $2.2 billion to seismically upgrade or replace 214 high-risk schools since 2001. It is estimated that it will cost a further $600 million to complete upgrades or replacement of the remaining 104 high-risk schools in B.C.
- To date, 133 seismic projects have been completed, 14 are under construction, seven are proceeding to construction and 60 have been supported.
- Since 2001, 44 capital and seismic projects worth more than $280 million have been completed in the Vancouver school district, including funding for additional space for full-day kindergarten.
BC's Education Plan: www.bcedplan.ca
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education