Students at Georges P. Vanier Secondary are buzzing with anticipation now that work is underway to seismically upgrade and replace part of their school thanks to a $33.8-million investment.
Comox Valley MLA Don McRae visited the school today to celebrate the start of major construction for this important seismic mitigation project on behalf of Education Minister Mike Bernier. McRae was joined by school district officials, teachers and students to check out some of the construction and unveil the floor plans for the multi-phased upgrade.
The project will provide students with a safe, modern and refreshed school, which will also feature open and collaborative learning spaces to support B.C.’s new curriculum.
The work will be carried out in five phases and will include:
- replacing the front administrative and two-storey sections of the school with six new classrooms, a counselling suite and an administrative staff room;
- relocating the library to the centre of the school which will become a major focal point of the school;
- a new science super-lab with a large open area of supported lab stations and equipment that connects to classrooms;
- a new auditorium and multi-purpose room, which will connect to the existing drama room and provide flexible space for school programming as well as fine arts events; and,
- a new Aboriginal education room that will be connected to an outdoor courtyard to support Indigenous programs.
The school district is contributing $1 million towards the total project cost to upgrade the school’s almost 50-year-old mechanical and electrical systems, including heating and ventilation. The Province provided $32.8 million towards the project.
The project will be carried out in phases to minimize disruption to students. Phase one will build a new section, which students will be transferred to once work begins on the remaining areas of the school. Construction is expected to be completed in September 2018.
Government is able to make school investments like the Georges P. Vanier seismic mitigation project thanks to the Province’s fiscal discipline and strong economy. The project will also help ensure young people get a chance to learn the trades as it will be built under B.C.’s Apprentices on Public Projects Policy.
Don McRae, MLA for Comox Valley –
“The start of construction brings this exciting and important project one step closer to home. Through our investment of $33.8 million to seismically upgrade Georges P. Vanier Secondary we will give students a more modern, safe and refreshed school – a school they can be proud of for years to come.”
Tom Weber, board chair, Comox Valley school district –
“Moving this important seismic project forward is a key priority for the Comox Valley school district. With construction underway, students, teachers and families can look forward to a safer and updated school, which will serve our communities for generations to come.”
- Named after one of Canada's most popular governor generals, Georges P. Vanier Secondary opened in 1968.
- The Georges P. Vanier seismic project brings the total government capital investment to almost $50 million in the Comox Valley school district, since 2001. Examples include the seismic upgrade to Highland Secondary and a renovation and seismic upgrade to École Robb Road Elementary.
Georges P. Vanier Secondary: http://www.gpvanier.ca/
Comox Valley school district: https://www.sd71.bc.ca/Pages/default.aspx
B.C.’s new curriculum: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/
Apprentices on Public Projects Policy: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/construction-industry/apprentices