Two more Vancouver Island schools are seismically safer now that the partial replacement of Ucluelet Secondary is complete.
The Ucluelet Elementary upgrade was completed in winter 2022.
“We know it’s vital that children have safe places to learn and grow, and I’m pleased that the seismic projects are complete at both Ucluelet Secondary and Elementary schools,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister for Education and Child Care. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to seismically upgrade schools in Ucluelet, and our government will continue to work with the school district to improve schools in the region.”
The partial replacement of Ucluelet Secondary includes a new music room, library, administration offices, new classrooms with space for 250 students and a neighbourhood learning centre hat will bring new child care spaces to the community. Seismic upgrades at Ucluelet Elementary included the addition of an elevator for greater accessibility. The StrongStart BC program, which occupied one classroom, will continue to operate in the recently renovated school.
“Schools are the heart of so many rural communities like ours, and Ucluelet and Tofino families have long advocated for improvements to Ucluelet Elementary school and Ucluelet Secondary school, which serve five west-coast communities,” said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “Thanks to the efforts of so many, I am thrilled to see these two schools now giving west-coast students the modern learning experience they deserve in a seismically safer environment.”
The Government of B.C invested $44.8 million to improve the schools by replacing most of the Ucluelet Secondary facility, including renovations to the gymnasium and shop classrooms. The entire structure of Ucluelet Elementary was replaced and has all new classrooms.
“The board of education for SD70 Pacific Rim is pleased to now have safe, secure and inviting learning and working environments with an abundance of natural light and calming surroundings for all students and staff at both Ucluelet Elementary and Ucluelet Secondary schools,” said Pam Craig, chair of the Pacific Rim Board of Education. “The completion of seismic upgrades at these two west-coast schools has provided great relief that our students are now in safe spaces for their learning.”
These projects are part of the Province’s work with B.C. school districts to provide students with access to seismically safer 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.
To support this momentum, Budget 2022 included $3.1 billion for school capital investments that provide a better place for students to learn.