Students and families in the Cedar Hill neighbourhood will soon have a safer, environmentally friendly middle school.
“Schools are so much more than buildings; they are vital community hubs for children and families. The new Cedar Hill Middle school will soon reflect the modern, dynamic community it serves,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “And by lowering the carbon footprint of this school and raising community engagement, we are creating learning spaces that encourage academic development, as well as social and emotional well-being.”
The Government of B.C. is investing $42.9 million for the low-carbon, seismic replacement of Cedar Hill Middle school. The new building, which will include a new neighbourhood learning centre, is scheduled to be complete by January 2025. It will be designed and constructed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions well above a LEED Gold Equivalent design, with more efficient heat pumps, displacement ventilation in classrooms, and a variable volume shop-dust collector. These temperature and air systems will use renewable BC Hydro energy to minimize the use of natural gas and other fossil fuels. The Greater Victoria School District will contribute $3.6 million to meet the total project cost.
The project will provide 575 seismically safe seats for students, as well as community program space through the learning centre. The school district will consult with the community to determine what programs could be offered at the centre. Potential uses include child care, cultural or other community programming.
“We are delighted to be moving forward with a vibrant new Cedar Hill Middle school that is seismically safe, provides community amenities, and can accommodate a growing population,” said Jordan Watters, board chair, Greater Victoria School District. “We have a vision to invest in the possibility of a net-zero building in our district and view this as a critical step in meeting our climate action goals and setting a higher standard for seismic projects in our district.”
Cedar Hill offers English, and French immersion programs to its students. Built in 1931, there were several additions to the original building over the years, most recently in 1975.
“The Cedar Hill Middle School PAC is thrilled with the approval of a seismically safe replacement school, and look forward to students learning in it for years to come,” said Catherine Du Bois, chair of the school's parent advisory council.
“Our community is benefiting from increased investments in Victoria’s schools, with safe and inspiring learning environments,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. “Thanks to our government’s continued investments, thousands more students will have better places to learn. This new building reflects the importance we place on investing in our students, our community and our environment.”
The seismic replacement of Cedar Hill Middle school is part of the Province’s work to improve schools in communities throughout B.C. This includes more than $2.4 billion invested provincewide and $139 million in Greater Victoria since 2017.
To support this momentum, Budget 2021 includes nearly $3.5 billion for school capital investments, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and site purchases to ensure land is in place to accommodate growth in fast-growing communities throughout the province.
For more information about Cedar Hill Middle School, visit: https://cedarhill.sd61.bc.ca/