Almost 400 young students in Burnaby can look forward to having a safer school with the announcement of a $6.7-million seismic upgrade at École Armstrong Elementary.
“Parents are counting on us to deliver safer schools for their kids, and that’s why we’re fixing schools, like École Armstrong Elementary, right around the province,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “We are very glad to be investing in this community, to ensure students will be safe in the event of an earthquake.”
“The safety of children is one of our highest priorities, and I am proud that we are putting them first,” said Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed. “An upgraded, safer Armstrong elementary will serve the students and this community for many years to come.”
The project will upgrade the entire school, to ensure it is safe for students in the event of an earthquake. École Armstrong Elementary was built in 1955, with several additions between 1957 and 1969, and is at high risk of incurring significant damage in a large earthquake.
Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2018, and to be complete in winter 2019. Six portables will temporarily be brought on-site to accommodate students while construction is underway.
“These improvements to École Armstrong Elementary signify a commitment to student and staff safety,” said Ron Burton, chair, Burnaby board of education. “We are excited about the project and look forward to continuing to support the learning needs of our Burnaby families for years to come.”
Eight of the 23 Burnaby schools in the Seismic Mitigation Program have had upgrades completed. Two schools — Alpha Secondary and Montecito Elementary — are under construction, and four are in the business-case development stage.
Government is addressing the backlog of seismic and capital projects throughout B.C. to ensure students have safer learning environments. 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 complete projects. Government is also working to cut wait times for school construction by accelerating the funding approval process.
Since September 2017, government has approved over $229 million in capital funding to upgrade or replace 16 seismic high-risk schools.
Government Communications and Public EngagementMinistry of Education