Students, teachers and staff at Queen Mary Elementary school are settling in to a seismically safe and renovated school, thanks to a $20.3-million upgrade and partial replacement under the Province’s Seismic Mitigation Program.
Andrew Wilkinson, MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena, visited the school today on behalf of Education Minister Mike Bernier to celebrate the official opening, along with Vancouver School Board official trustee Dianne Turner, as well as staff and students.
The project included restoring the 100-year-old red-brick building to preserve its heritage. The inside of the building was seismically upgraded and modernized to provide a more-functional and safe learning environment. A new and spacious state-of-the-art wing was added to the heritage building as part of the project. The remaining three buildings were demolished.
The upgraded school contains a library, full-sized gymnasium, multi-purpose room and administration office space, in addition to a community area that can be used for activities, performances and other gatherings. The upgraded school is designed with open and collaborative learning spaces to support B.C.’s new curriculum.
It has two kindergarten classrooms and 14 elementary classrooms, to accommodate 38 kindergarten and 326 grades 1-7 students. The school also has a Neighbourhood Learning Centre, which will provide space for community programs and services.
The Queen Mary Elementary seismic upgrade and replacement is one of nine seismic projects worth more than $200 million currently underway or recently completed in the Vancouver School District.
The B.C. government is making record investments in modern, safe infrastructure projects throughout the province. In doing so, these construction projects are creating well-paying, family-supporting jobs. These investments are possible because of the fiscal plan of the B.C. government.
Andrew Wilkinson, MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena –
“Queen Mary has served the West Point Grey neighbourhood for more than 100 years, and now it can continue to serve for many more. This beautiful heritage school has been restored and upgraded to provide a safe, modern and comfortable space for students, teachers and staff.”
Dianne Turner, official trustee, Vancouver School Board –
“Students and staff at Queen Mary Elementary now have a safe, state-of-the-art school to call home. It’s wonderful that we were able to retain some of the heritage aspects of the school while creating a beautiful modern learning environment that will withstand a seismic event. It’s a priority for the Vancouver School Board to move as quickly as possible to get all our students in safe, updated schools like this one.”
- This project was built under B.C.’s Apprentices on Public Projects Policy, which helps ensure young people get a chance to learn the trades.
- Since 2001, government has spent over $234 million and is committed to spend another $566 million for a total investment of over $800 million to ensure schools in Vancouver are seismically safe for students.
- Over the next three years, B.C. will invest $1.7 billion to replace and renovate aging school buildings and add more student spaces in growing communities.
Vancouver School Board: https://www.vsb.bc.ca/
B.C.’s new curriculum: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/
Neighbourhood Learning Centres: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/administration/community-partnerships/neighbourhood-learning-centres