Students and staff in Richmond can learn and work in seismically safer schools now that upgrades are complete at Maple Lane and F.A. Tomsett elementary schools. More seismic upgrades are also on the way, with work beginning at James Whiteside and William Bridge elementary schools.
“Parents and families want to know their children are safe when they drop them off at school, and these projects demonstrate our government’s ongoing commitment to ensure our schools are seismically safe,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education and Child Care. ““Our government knows the value of safe learning spaces, and these upgrades are one of the many ways we’re investing in schools across the province.”
Since September 2017, the Province has invested nearly $115 million in seismic upgrades and replacements at 10 Richmond schools, giving nearly 4,365 students safer places to learn. This includes $14.4 million for recently completed seismic upgrades to Maple Lane and F.A. Tomsett elementary schools. The Richmond School District contributed an additional $3.6 million for the upgrades at F.A. Tomsett, which included a four-classroom addition to support neighbourhood growth.
To further improve schools for students in Richmond, work is now underway on seismic upgrades at William Bridge and James Whiteside elementary schools. The Province has invested over $30 million for seismic upgrades at these two schools, with the school district contributing $2.1 million for the work at James Whiteside Elementary. Construction at both schools is expected to be complete in summer 2023. Students will remain in the schools while work is underway.
Budget 2022 includes $3.1 billion to be invested in school capital projects over the next three years, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools.
Kelly Greene, MLA, Richmond-Steveston –
“Seismic upgrades at Maple Lane Elementary are part of our government’s efforts to put people first by keeping students and staff safe. As a parent with children in Richmond schools, I am grateful for the work that goes into these important projects.”
Aman Singh, MLA, Richmond-Queensborough –
“It is so important to give children a strong start in life, and having safe learning environments is one of the best ways to support healthy development. Richmond has specific seismic needs, and I am so pleased to see our government making the investments the people of this city deserve.”
Sandra Nixon, chair, Richmond Board of Education –
“The Richmond Board of Education is pleased to announce that seismic upgrades have been completed at Maple Lane and Tomsett elementary. Everyone deserves to learn and grow in a safe environment, and we are proud to work with the Ministry of Education and Child Care to continue to improve the safety of Richmond's schools."
Michael Boetzkes, treasurer, Maple Lane parent advisory committee –
"The Maple Lane school community is delighted with the recent seismic upgrades to our school. It is great to see the Ministry of Education and Child Care, and the Richmond School District, renewing the schools to meet seismic requirements, and at the same time dramatically improving the learning environment for our children.”
- These projects are part of the Province’s work with B.C. school districts to provide all students with access to seismically safe seats.
- In the last four years, the government of B.C. has approved over $1.2 billion in seismic upgrades or replacements at 58 schools provincewide, so more than 31,400 students can be better protected at school during an earthquake.
For more information about Richmond School District 38, visit: https://www.sd38.bc.ca/
For more information about major public school capital projects, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/major-capital-projects
To learn more about B.C.’s Seismic Mitigation Program, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/seismic-mitigation
A backgrounder follows.