Students and staff at Shortreed Community Elementary school in Aldergrove will be better protected in the event of an earthquake, thanks to planned seismic upgrades.
“All parents and families deserve to send their children to school with the comfort of knowing that if an earthquake hits, students will be protected,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “From day one, investing in school seismic safety has been a priority for our government, and we will continue our work to improve seismic safety in schools across the province.”
Government is providing $8.9 million for seismic upgrades at Shortreed elementary. Construction will begin in September 2021. The project is expected to be complete in early 2023. Students will remain on site in portables while the work is underway.
“Langley families strongly support projects that increase the safety of our district schools. Our government continues to invest in projects to ensure the safety of the staff and students in our schools,” said Megan Dykeman, MLA for Langley East. “This important seismic upgrade of Shortreed Community Elementary school will further protect students in the event of an earthquake.”
When the upgrades are complete in early 2023, the 470-seat school will be a safer place to learn.
“Health and safety of students and staff is a top priority in our district,” said Rod Ross, chair, Langley School District Board of Education. “As a board, we continue to advocate for safe learning environments to help us fulfil our mission to inspire all learners to reach their full potential and create a positive legacy for the future.”
Built in 1978, Shortreed school underwent classroom expansions in 1981 and 1999. This project will upgrade the original block of the school and the 1981 expansion, which consists of the gymnasium and two classroom blocks.
“Parents want to be able to send their child to school and not have to worry about their safety,” said Amy Synesael, president, Shortreed Community Elementary’s parent advisory council. “We know this project will benefit our students and future generations in our growing community.”
In the last three years, the Province has approved $51 million in investments for school capital projects in the Langley School District, including two site purchases and a new, 555-seat elementary school in the Willoughby community – and there is more to come.
Investments in student safety are part of government’s work to accelerate the Seismic Mitigation Program to ensure every B.C. student can attend a seismically safe school as soon as possible. Through the program, the Province has announced upgrades or replacements at 52 high-risk schools, providing a safer place to learn for nearly 30,000 students.
Since September 2017, the Province has approved over $2.1 billion in school capital investments, including $1 billion for seismic upgrades and replacements.
To continue this momentum, Budget 2020 includes $975 million to accelerate investments in seismic safety so every student can learn in a safe school as soon as possible.
For more information about the Seismic Mitigation Program, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/seismic-mitigation