Students at Manoah Steves Elementary will have a safer school in case of an earthquake with seismic upgrades and a partial replacement now approved.
“Schools need to be safe in the event of a major earthquake, and families in Richmond have waited long enough for a government to take action to protect students,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “I am proud to be delivering results for families in Richmond with five schools approved for seismic upgrades since September 2017.”
Government has approved a total budget of $12.8 million for the project, which will replace the oldest section of the school — the administrative offices and main entrance — and upgrade the classrooms and gymnasium, making the entire school safe in the event of an earthquake. The project will also reduce the school’s capacity by 25 spaces to better fit current and projected enrolment growth. Once complete, the school will have space for 40 kindergarten and 325 elementary students.
Construction is expected to begin in fall 2019 and be complete in summer 2021. During construction, the school’s Montessori program will be temporarily relocated to nearby Grauer Elementary, creating space for the rest of the students to remain in the school throughout the project.
“The Richmond School District has been working closely with the Ministry of Education to improve the safety of the facilities within our school community,” said Scott Robinson, superintendent, Richmond School District. “We are extremely pleased with today’s funding announcement to seismically upgrade Manoah Steves Elementary, and we look forward to creating a safe and inspiring learning environment that fully supports the educational journey of our students and staff.”
With this announcement, the Province has invested over $50 million in seismic upgrades at five Richmond schools since September 2017, creating 2,780 safe seats in the district. Other schools receiving upgrades are Mitchell Elementary, Hugh Boyd Secondary, Robert Tait Elementary and W.D. Ferris Elementary. Five more seismic projects in Richmond schools are under business case development.
Government is committed to giving every B.C. student a seismically safe place to go to school. Budget 2019 includes an additional $250 million to accelerate the Seismic Mitigation Program, for a total of $791 million over three years.
Government has invested $1 billion in approved school capital projects by the Ministry of Education since September 2017. This includes 6,610 new student spaces at new and expanded schools, 19,450 seismically safe seats at 30 schools and six land purchases for future schools throughout B.C.
- Manoah Steves Elementary – nicknamed “Steves” – is a kindergarten-to-Grade 7 school in the Steveston neighbourhood.
- Steves is one of three schools in the Richmond School District that has a Montessori program.
- The school was built in 1965 with a major addition in 1975.
- The school is considered to be at high risk of damage in an earthquake.
- Of the 28 high-risk schools in Richmond, three have been upgraded while six are under construction or proceeding to construction.
For more information about the Seismic Mitigation Program, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/seismic-mitigation
For more information about major school capital projects in B.C., visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/major-capital-projects