Six safer schools are under construction in Vancouver, as students and families benefit from record investments in seismic upgrades and replacements in neighbourhood schools.
“All parents deserve to send their children to school with the comfort of knowing that if an earthquake hits, students will be protected,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “After years of underinvestment in school safety in Vancouver, our government took immediate action to upgrade and replace schools as fast as possible, and we’re very proud of the progress we’re making. We have doubled the pace of seismic project approvals compared to the last government.”
Since September 2017, the Province has announced over $325 million for seismic upgrades or replacements at 12 Vancouver schools, creating nearly 7,000 safer student seats in the district.
The following six seismic projects are now under construction at Vancouver schools:
- General Wolfe Elementary – seismic upgrade (expected completion fall 2021)
- Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary – seismic replacement (expected completion winter 2021-22)
- Bayview Elementary – seismic replacement (expected completion winter 2021-22)
- Lord Byng Secondary – seismic upgrade (expected completion fall 2021)
- Lord Selkirk Elementary – seismic upgrade (expected completion spring 2021)
- Chief Maquinna Elementary – seismic upgrade (expected completion fall 2021)
These investments to improve learning environments for Vancouver students are part of government’s plan to ensure every student is learning in a seismically safe school.
When the seismic projects at these schools are complete, thousands of youth will learn in improved facilities that will keep students, teachers and staff safe, while providing a better learning experience.
“The progress on these projects brings us closer to our goal of having all students in seismically safe schools as soon as possible,” said Janet Fraser, chair, Vancouver School Board. “We are also glad these buildings will serve the school and local communities in years to come.”
In addition to bringing safer learning spaces to students, the Province is also taking the opportunity to work with the Vancouver School Board and the City of Vancouver to invest in new early learning spaces on school grounds. Through investments from the Childcare BC plan, there are 3,134 new child care spaces coming to Vancouver schools.
“As the mother of a six year old, I know how hard it can be to find child care. That’s why I was so proud when our government introduced legislative changes that make it easier for school boards to create and operate child care spaces,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Having child care on school grounds helps busy families with pickups and drop-offs and can help young children develop a lifelong appreciation for learning.”
George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview –
“People in our community are so excited to see construction underway to ensure General Wolfe Elementary is a safe place to learn, play and grow. This school has been a true hub for the neighbourhood, and this project will ensure the school can continue to benefit our community for decades to come.”
Shane Simpson, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings –
“Sir Matthew Begbie and Chief Maquinna elementary schools have been staples of community life in East Vancouver for generations. And while we’ll miss the original Begbie building, it’s time to give students and families the modern learning facility they deserve. I look forward to the day when we’ll see smiling faces walking through the doors of seismically safe schools.”
David Eby, MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey –
“A safer place to learn will mean a better place to learn for students at an upgraded Lord Byng Secondary school and a brand-new Bayview Elementary school. These are projects that people in our community have been waiting for, and will ensure everyone who makes use of these schools will be protected if an earthquake were to hit – a comfort that we all deserve.”
Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant –
“This long-overdue upgrade will give parents the comfort of knowing their children will be protected at their local school in the event of an earthquake. Lord Selkirk's building upgrade will give students and their families the peace of mind needed for students to safely learn, play and grow.”
- The Province is committed to providing safe, positive learning spaces to B.C. students, no matter where they live.
- In the last three years, the Province has invested over $2 billion for school capital projects throughout the Province, including $1 billion for seismic upgrades at 47 B.C. schools, creating nearly 26,000 safe student seats.