Students, teachers, and families will see the benefits of seismic upgrades at Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith Elementary with the provincial government’s commitment today to provide up to $11.6 million to the Vancouver School District for the project.
The proposed project includes seismically upgrading 18 classrooms, the library, and the gym with reinforced walls and columns. The project also includes installing an accessible elevator and washrooms for people with disabilities, as well as new storm and water lines. These upgrades will ensure the building is structurally safe from earthquakes and provide students and staff with a more modern and efficient space for years to come.
This project was identified in the Vancouver School District’s (SD39) long-term facilities plan, which includes innovative and sustainable priority projects that will best meet the needs of students, families and communities in the area.
Vancouver school board staff will continue to work with Kingsford-Smith parents on plans for the upgrade and temporary accommodation of students. Once the plan is formally approved by the Vancouver Board of Education in February 2016, and a project agreement is signed with the Ministry of Education, the project can move forward to design. Construction is expected to start in 2017.
As a result of British Columbia's strong economic growth and fiscal discipline, government is able to support and fund projects like Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith Elementary that make a real difference in the lives of British Columbians.
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“Our key priority is to invest in seismic mitigation projects that best support student and staff safety.
"We are pleased that Vancouver has committed to a solid long-term-facilities plan, as that will assist us all in moving forward with the overall seismic program in the Vancouver School District and ensure our children have a safe place to learn, explore, and succeed.”
Suzanne Anton, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview –
“This is a great project for Vancouver-Fraserview because this historic school will be safer and more structurally sound to protect our children and their teachers.”
Mike Lombardi, Vancouver Board of Education chair –
“The Vancouver Board of Education is pleased to see the ministry commit funding for this project. Our goal is to get students and staff into safe schools as quickly as possible.”
- The kindergarten-to-Grade 7 school was constructed in 1955 with a small classroom addition in 1958.
- The school has a capacity of 387 students and is currently operating at 91% capacity with 354 students: 38 kindergarten and 316 elementary students.
- British Columbia is recognized as a leader in seismic research and seismic safety, which attracts experts from around the world.
- The goal of the Seismic Mitigation Program is to achieve a life-safety standard for schools by minimizing the risk of a structural collapse, as a result of a seismic event.
- Since 2001, the Province has invested more than $217 million to seismically upgrade or replace 20 schools in Vancouver, and has committed to spend another $590 million, to ensure another 29 schools are seismically safe for kids in the Vancouver School District.
- Since 2001, the government has committed $2.2 billion to seismically mitigate all high-risk schools. To date, 149 schools have been completed, 16 schools are under construction, nine schools are in tender and design stage, and a further 39 schools are being supported.
- The Vancouver School District has 92 elementary schools and 18 secondary schools.
For more information about the province’s seismic mitigation program, visit:
Vancouver School Board: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/