VANCOUVER - As part of its ongoing Seismic Mitigation Program, the Province has committed more than $122 million to address structural upgrades at 14 high-priority schools.
The 14 projects are spread throughout 12 B.C. school districts. Schools were selected from most-recent district capital plans and represent top-ranked projects based on an updated assessment of seismic safety risk.
School projects approved for funding:
- Aberdeen Elementary, Abbotsford (SD 34)
- South Delta Secondary, Delta (SD 37)
- Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith Elementary, Vancouver (SD 39)
- Dr. George M. Weir Elementary, Vancouver (SD 39)
- Sir Wilfred Grenfell Community school, Vancouver (SD 39)
- Alpha Secondary, Burnaby (SD 41)
- Banting Middle school, Coquitlam (SD 43)
- Argyle Secondary, North Vancouver (SD 44)
- Quadra Elementary, Victoria (SD 61)
- Sangster Elementary, Sooke (SD 62)
- Deep Cove Elementary, Saanich (SD 63)
- Georges P. Vanier Secondary, Comox Valley (SD 71)
- C.E. Barry Intermediate, Fraser-Cascade (SD 78)
- École des Pionniers, Conseil scolaire francophone (SD 93)
School districts will work with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) and the Ministry of Education's Seismic Mitigation Program to confirm scope, schedule and budgets for these projects prior to Ministry of Education approval of individual project agreements.
Since 2005 a technical team led by APEGBC, working with its partners at the University of British Columbia, has continued to refine the risk assessment and mitigation strategies through experience in actual seismic upgrade projects, extensive laboratory testing at UBC's world-class Earthquake Engineering Research Facility and peer review by leading international structural experts. This work resulted in new technical guidelines and assessment methodology that refined the list of high priority schools to be addressed under the School Seismic Mitigation Program.
Capital Plan instructions for new project approvals, expected to follow this month, will direct school districts to review and prioritize requirements for future seismic projects based on the latest assessment results.
George Abbott, Minister of Education -
"This is the next step in our ongoing and comprehensive program to make B.C. schools safe in the event of a major earthquake. With today's announcement, we now have 167 projects that are completed, in progress or moving through initial planning."
Patti Bacchus, Vancouver board of education chair -
"Moving forward with our seismic program is critical to the safety and security of our students. The Province's approval of funding for seismic upgrades to Grenfell, Kingsford-Smith and Weir will help us make these schools safe as quickly as possible."
"We have an unprecedented level of planning and construction underway in Vancouver as we work in partnership with the Ministry of Education to upgrade our seismically at-risk buildings to ensure safe learning and working environments."
Franci Stratton, North Vancouver board of education chair -
"We are greatly appreciative of the ministry's inclusion of Argyle Secondary in their latest commitment to the Province's School Seismic Mitigation Program. Argyle was built over 50 years ago, at a time when seismic risk was not as well-understood and schools were not built to the safety standards of today."
"We are now in a position to move forward, establish a formal project agreement, and address this high-priority building on behalf of present and future students, staff and families of Argyle Secondary and the North Vancouver community."
- These 14 priority projects are part of a revised list of 152 high-priority schools to be addressed under the School Seismic Mitigation Program at an estimated total cost of $1.3 billion.
- The announcement today brings the number down to 138 high-priority schools still to be addressed through the program.
- Government is exploring options to provide additional funding for non-structural safety improvement in medium- and low-ranked schools starting in 2013-14.
- Since 2001, government has spent more than $790 million on school seismic upgrades in 37 B.C. school districts.
- With 14 projects announced today, there are now 30 supported projects working towards formal project agreements and 137 projects that have been completed, are under construction or are proceeding to construction.
Ministry of Education, Seismic Mitigation Program: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/capitalplanning/seismic/
APEGBC's work on the Seismic Mitigation Program:
UBC's Earthquake Engineering Research Facility: http://www.civil.ubc.ca/about/facilities/eerf.php
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education