By the end of next year, every student in Maple Ridge will be going to a seismically safe school, Premier John Horgan announced today.
“Finishing upgrades at Fairview Elementary and Westview Secondary will mean every single child in Maple Ridge is learning in a seismically safe school,” said Premier Horgan.
“We know there is more to be done in other communities. That is why we are working to fast-track seismic upgrades and school capital projects throughout the province.”
Fairview Elementary school and Westview Secondary school are the last two high-risk schools in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district.
Premier Horgan made the announcement at Fairview Elementary school today alongside Minister of Education Rob Fleming
“Parents across Maple Ridge will soon enjoy the peace of mind of knowing their children are going to school in seismically safe buildings,” said Fleming.
“This is just the beginning,” added Fleming. “We are working with school boards to accelerate seismic upgrades and other investments in education as part of our commitment to making life more affordable, delivering the services families need, and strengthening our economy.”
Upgrades at Fairview Elementary school will include seismically strengthening the classroom wing, gym, multi-purpose space and change rooms. Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2018. The school will reopen for the start of school in September 2018.
At Westview Secondary, the classroom wing and gym will be seismically upgraded. Work is expected to begin in the summer of 2018.
Government is creating a plan to address the backlog of seismic projects in the province. This includes encouraging collaboration between the Ministry of Education, school districts and local governments to meet ambitious timelines and reduce the time it takes to plan and upgrade a school. Government will also work to cut wait times for school construction by speeding up funding approvals.
The Province will work with Seismic Mitigation Program experts, including Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, to look for ways to more efficiently and cost-effectively meet and exceed the building code for seismic safety.
- Government committed $522 million over three years for seismic upgrades throughout B.C.
- Government is investing $2 million to upgrade Fairview Elementary.
- Government is investing $1 million to upgrade Westview Secondary.