Janson Ho has been appointed director of the Vancouver seismic project office, which was created last fall to expedite the Province’s Seismic Mitigation Program in the Vancouver school district (SD 39).
Ho will take on a senior project management role and report to the project office steering committee, which consists of the superintendent and secretary-treasurer from SD 39, the deputy minister of education and the CEO of Partnerships BC.
The new director’s first task will be to complete the setup of the Vancouver seismic project office, which will oversee seismic upgrades to high-risk schools in Vancouver. The goal is to have the office fully established with professional staff including project managers, financial analysts and planners.
Ho was hired after an extensive executive search. He has more than 30 years of experience in civil engineering and project management, including seismic projects in California and Vancouver, as well as other facilities projects in B.C. Ho was associate director of facilities design and management at the City of Vancouver, and more recently, director of facilities for the North Vancouver school district.
Last August, the Ministry of Education and the Vancouver board of education signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create a co-governed project office dedicated to overseeing seismic projects in SD 39. Since then, a steering committee has been established and an interim director has been providing advisory support during the search for a permanent director. Several projects, including Lord Nelson Elementary, Lord Strathcona Elementary, L’École Bilingue Elementary and General Gordon Elementary have been accelerated in recent months under the interim director.
In addition, under the terms of the MOU, the Vancouver board of education will submit to the Province for approval a long-range facilities plan by June 30, 2015. The plan will be based on projected student enrolment and location, ultimately to help the board make better use of the excess capacity in their facilities. The steering committee will then monitor progress on the plan on an annual basis.
Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education -
“The safety of our students and staff is our first priority. This is why we have already completed 145 seismic projects and are accelerating the remaining work in our Seismic Mitigation Program.”
“The appointment of a director for the Vancouver seismic project office will streamline future projects, as we continue to work with the district to advance these very important seismic upgrades in Vancouver.”
Christopher Richardson, chair of Vancouver board of education -
“We are very excited about being able to attract a candidate of Janson’s calibre to head up this important new office,”
“Through the project office director’s leadership, we hope to accelerate our capital project work in order to ensure that all our schools are seismically safe as soon as possible.”
- B.C. is recognized worldwide as a leading jurisdiction on seismic research and seismic safety with experts from around the globe coming here to learn from B.C.’s work.
- The primary objective of the Seismic Mitigation Program is to achieve a life-safety standard for schools by minimizing the probability of local structural collapse as a result of a seismic event.
- To date, the Vancouver board of education has completed 20 seismic upgrades worth approximately $218 million.
- The board has 69 schools operating today that need to be addressed in the future.
- Since 2001, the government’s award-winning Seismic Mitigation Program has spent or committed $2.2 billion to upgrade or replace 213 high-risk schools:
- 145 projects completed.
- 11 under construction.
- Nine proceeding to construction.
- The Province has committed to fund 48 projects that are in various stages of planning.
- It is estimated to cost a further $600 million to complete upgrades or replacement of the remaining 126 high-risk schools in B.C.
Ministry of Education’s Seismic Mitigation Program: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/capitalplanning/seismic/welcome.htm
BC's Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education
Vancouver School Board Media Relations