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Seismic upgrades bringing safer school to Abbotsford students

Seismic upgrades are coming to Abbotsford Traditional Secondary school, so students can be protected in the event of an earthquake.

“Parents deserve the comfort of knowing their children will be protected at school if an earthquake hits,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “Our government has made investments in school seismic safety a top priority from the start. Together, we’re working to ensure every student can learn in a seismically safe school as soon as possible.”

The Government of B.C. is investing $18.9 million for seismic upgrades at Abbotsford Traditional Secondary. Construction is expected to begin in May 2021. Students will remain on site while the work is underway. The upgrades will create 750 seismically safer seats for Abbotsford students.

“For many families and students, the Abbotsford Traditional Secondary school is the heart of their community,” said Darryl Plecas, MLA for Abbotsford South. “Government is making necessary investments, like this one, that will keep schools open and keep children safe. I’m grateful that soon, 750 students will have a seismically safe learning environment.”

Abbotsford Traditional Secondary school will be seismically safe by September 2022. The project is based off input and consultation from parents of the school’s students and the school community. 

“We are pleased to be able to proceed with the seismic and related improvements to Abbotsford Traditional Secondary,” said Stan Petersen, chair, Abbotsford Board of Education. “I know the students, parents and staff have been waiting for all approvals to be finalized. We look forward to seeing work commence and final completion in the fall of 2022 for an upgraded school and an enhanced learning environment for our students.”

In addition to the seismic project at Abbotsford Traditional Secondary, the Province recently announced $24.7 million in funding for a new elementary school in Abbotsford’s Eagle Mountain neighbourhood, which is expected to be ready for students in September 2022. This project will add 460 seats to the district.

Built in 1959, Abbotsford Traditional Secondary underwent seven expansions between 1962 and 1997. A further addition included a new 14-classroom block, offices, a gymnasium and multipurpose room, as well as home economics and art rooms. The school serves middle and secondary (grades 6 to 12) students.

These investments in student safety are part of government’s work to accelerate the Seismic Mitigation Program to ensure every B.C. student can attend a seismically safe school as soon as possible.

Since September 2017, the Province has announced over $1 billion for seismic upgrades or replacements at 48 B.C. schools, creating nearly 27,000 safe seats, with many more to come.

To continue this momentum, Budget 2020 includes $975 million for B.C.’s Seismic Mitigation Program.

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