Students at Kitsilano Secondary school, one of Vancouver’s most-iconic heritage structures, have reason to celebrate on ShakeOut BC day this year – a brand-new wing built to meet 21st-century safety standards with upgraded facilities to ensure a great learning experience now, and in the years ahead.
Education Minister Mike Bernier joined Vancouver Board of Education chair Fraser Ballantyne and Kitsilano Secondary principal Jim Burnham, as well as students, teachers, school administrators and members of the community today for a tour of Kitsilano’s ongoing seismic upgrade and restoration project.
The new wing marks the completion of the first stage of construction. Overall, the Kitsilano restoration represents a provincial government investment of $57.8 million -- making it one of the biggest capital school renovation projects in the history of B.C.
The new three-storey wing is built to meet the latest seismic safety standards. Students will be able to explore their passions through personalized learning with:
- new common meeting areas;
- food and textile classrooms;
- science and technology resources; and
- media labs.
Construction is being completed in phases to minimize disruption to students and staff. This project will respect the heritage significance of the 103-year-old school with plans to preserve the historic façade while restoring the structure to meet current safety standards and values.
- three gymnasiums;
- 350-seat theatre, and
- meeting rooms.
Kitsilano Secondary is being upgraded and built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards. Schools built to LEED Gold standards produce significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to old schools and can result in operational savings of up to 60% through enhanced water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor-environment quality.
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“It’s really exciting to see the new wing at Kitsilano Secondary school. Our partnership with the Vancouver Board of Education has moved this project forward and provided a safer, modern learning environment. The new construction and seismic upgrades honour the legacy of one of Vancouver’s most historic schools while making sure students have the 21st-century facilities they need to succeed in today’s changing world.”
Fraser Ballantyne, chair, Vancouver Board of Education –
“We’re pleased to be celebrating the completion of the first phase of the Kitsilano seismic renewal plan. Seismic upgrading supports the school board’s goal of safer schools for students and staff. This project also brings together a new facility for modern learning while preserving heritage considerations. Thanks to the Ministry of Education for supporting this important project and others in our district. Vancouver Board of Education staff have worked tirelessly to meet the needs of the school community. It’s exciting to see that vision come to life.”
Jim Burnham, principal, Kitsilano Secondary –
“The Kitsilano community of students, teachers and parents are thrilled to be in a brand new wing. Twenty-first-century learning requires 21st-century facilities and it is exciting to see all the technology available to Kits students. Schools are a place for learning, but at the same time schools need to provide a place for students to socialize and hang out with their friends.The skylight that runs the length of the school allows for lots of natural light and provides a calming and relaxing setting. A special thanks to the Ministry of Education for providing the funding. Upon completion of the Kitsilano seismic renewal plan, the school will have a new 350-seat auditorium and a triplex gymnasium. Hail Kitsilano!”
- Since 2001, government has committed more than $4.2 billion in new and improved schools, including $2.2 billion to upgrade or replace 214 high-risk schools:
- 146 projects completed.
- 15 under construction.
- nine proceeding to construction.
- The Province has committed to fund 44 projects that are in various stages of planning.
- Budget 2015 provides $1.4 billion over three years to replace aging facilities, build more student spaces in growing communities and improve school seismic safety where needed.
- Kitsilano Secondary was built in 1911 with subsequent additions in 1927, 1958 and 1973.
B.C.’s school seismic upgrading program: http://ow.ly/T5Vo6
Kitsilano Secondary school restoration project:
Kitsilano Secondary school: http://go.vsb.bc.ca/schools/kitsilano/Pages/default.aspx
ShakeOut BC Day: http://shakeoutbc.ca/
B.C.’s new curriculum: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/
BC's Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/