Students and staff are heading back to safer classrooms now that seismic upgrades are complete at Pleasant Valley and Cilaire Elementary schools in Nanaimo.
“A great school is at the heart of every strong community, and our government’s work to invest in schools is one of the many ways we’re making life better for families in B.C.,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education and Child Care. “This September, students across B.C. are heading back to new and improved schools. We’re proud of the work we’ve done to provide students with better places to learn, and we will continue to work closely with school boards to make investments that give students the best educational experience possible.”
The Government of B.C. invested $18.8 million for seismic upgrades at Cilaire and Pleasant Valley Elementary schools, creating 590 seismically safe seats for Nanaimo students.
The funding included the cost of renovating Rutherford Elementary school and Woodlands Secondary school to be used as temporary accommodations to speed up seismic projects in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District.
With upgrades at both facilities complete, students can return to their neighbourhood schools this week.
“The Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ Board of Education fully appreciates the Government of B.C.’s priority to make schools safer for children across the province,” said Charlene McKay, board chair, District 68. “This investment is yet another example of our district’s need to address aging infrastructure in the coming years. This marks the end of two significant projects, which were completed on time and under budget.”
The Province has approved nearly $38 million for major school construction projects in Nanaimo over the past five years, which also includes expansions at Dover Bay Secondary and Hammond Bay Elementary schools to accommodate enrolment growth in those communities.
These projects are part of the Province’s work with B.C. school districts to provide students with access to seismically safe seats. During the past four years, the Government of B.C. has approved more than $1.2 billion in seismic upgrades or replacements at 59 schools provincewide, so more than 32,000 students can be better protected at school.
Budget 2022 includes $3.1 billion for school capital projects over the next three years, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools.
Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo –
“Children deserve seismically safe schools. Cilaire Elementary’s long history in Nanaimo will continue for more students and families for many years to come with the seismic upgrade we’ve funded.”
Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum –
“Pleasant Valley Elementary is a vital part of life for so many families in our community, and that’s why our government worked closely with the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Board of Education to invest in its future. And we will continue to deliver on our promises to upgrade schools as soon as possible, so all students can learn in seismically safe schools.”