Hundreds of students celebrated construction of their safer school today, with work having begun on seismic upgrades at École Armstrong Elementary.
“We’re working hard to ensure families have the security of knowing their children are in safer schools,” said Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed. “Our government is accelerating the Seismic Mitigation Program to ensure every student in B.C. can attend a seismically safe school, and it’s exciting to see this making a difference for students in Burnaby.”
The seismic upgrade at École Armstrong Elementary is a $6.7-million project that will give families the comfort of knowing their children will be safer if a major earthquake were to occur.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our students,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “This is a great day for hundreds of students, but there is more work to do. We will continue to accelerate seismic upgrades at high-risk schools, just like we have at École Armstrong Elementary.”
École Armstrong Elementary was built in 1955 and is at a high risk of significant damage in a large earthquake. This seismic mitigation project will see the entire school upgraded to current standards. Four portables will be used temporarily during construction.
“Our students do practice drills to get prepared for earthquakes. These seismic upgrades are also about being prepared,” said Gary Wong, chair of the Burnaby Board of Education. “Providing a safe environment for students and staff is a priority we share with the Ministry of Education, and we are pleased to work with them to upgrade École Armstrong Elementary.”
Construction on the school is expected to be complete in December 2019.
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.
The Ministry of Education is continuing to work with school districts and local governments throughout B.C. to speed up the funding approval process and reduce wait times for seismic and capital projects.
- Since September 2017, the B.C. government has approved more than $351 million in capital funding to upgrade or replace seismically high-risk schools and a total of $708 million in capital projects (including land purchases and additions).
- Budget 2018 is investing a record $2 billion in school capital projects over the next three years.
For more information about the Seismic Mitigation Program:
For information about current major capital projects at B.C. schools: