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New, seismically safe schools open for Vancouver students

New, seismically safe schools open for Vancouver students

May 6, 2021 at 9:37 am  BC, News, Politics

Three new schools are open in Vancouver, supporting 1,400 students in seismically safe facilities as record investments continue to upgrade and replace high-risk schools throughout the city.

“We know parents, families, students and staff need and expect seismically safe and dynamic learning environments,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “From day one, our government has made investments in seismic safety a priority at B.C. schools, and now families are seeing concrete results of new and improved schools in their neighbourhoods.”

Since September 2017, the Government of B.C. has invested over $325 million for seismic upgrades or replacements at 12 Vancouver schools, giving nearly 7,000 students a safer place to learn.

Almost $70 million has been invested for three new replacement schools in Vancouver: Sir Sandford Fleming, Maple Grove and Lord Tennyson elementary schools. In addition, the $5.7-million seismic upgrades at Lord Selkirk Elementary school were completed on May 3, 2021.

“It remains a priority of the board to ensure all students attend seismically safe schools as quickly as possible,” said Carmen Cho, board chair, Vancouver School District. “We are delighted that students of Fleming, Tennyson and Maple Grove are now enjoying seismically safe replacement schools. These schools will serve generations to come, allowing students to thrive in seismically safe, modern learning environments.”

Lord Tennyson and Sir Sandford Fleming feature new rooftop child care centres funded by the Province and the City of Vancouver, while all three new schools include separate before- and after-school care programming. Together, they offer a total of about 300 spaces. These new spaces provide more convenient options for parents to have their children cared for.  

“Access to quality child care close to home or work is critical to making life better for busy families,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Providing early years programming on school grounds is one of the ways we’re supporting families and helping kids build a strong foundation for learning that helps set them on the path to success.”

To further support students with safe learning environments, construction is also underway on the following schools:

  • Dr. George M. Weir Elementary (seismic upgrade and partial replacement), expected to open in fall 2022;
  • Edith Cavell Elementary (seismic upgrade), expected to be complete in spring/summer 2022; and
  • David Lloyd George Elementary (seismic replacement), expected to open in winter 2022-23.

Seismic upgrades and replacements are part of the Province’s work with B.C. school districts to provide all students with access to seismically safe seats as soon as possible.

In the last four years, the Government of B.C. has approved over $1.1 billion  in seismic upgrades or replacements at 55 schools provincewide, so more than 30,400 students can be better protected at school during an earthquake.

Quotes:

George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview –

“The new Lord Tennyson Elementary school has been a welcome addition to students and families in my community, with a modern learning environment and new child care spaces that are transforming the neighbourhood. It’s also a sign of things to come at the replacement of Henry Hudson Elementary, which we expect to be under construction next spring.”

George Chow, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview –

“People in Killarney are excited to see work underway on the seismic upgrade and partial replacement at Weir Elementary, which will provide a better, safer learning environment for students for generations to come. This investment is the result of our strong partnership with the Vancouver School Board, which is already paying dividends for families throughout the city.”

Mable Elmore, MLA for Vancouver-Kensington –

“Families waited years to see Sir Sandford Fleming Elementary replaced with a school that fits the community’s needs and provides the learning experience that students in the neighbourhood deserve. It is so exciting to see the new school open, and I can’t wait to visit students and staff first-hand as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant 

“I am so pleased to see seismic upgrades now complete at Lord Selkirk Elementary school, giving students and staff a safe facility that can continue to serve the community for many more years. This is just another example of our government’s commitment to investing in communities and the people who live in them.”

Learn More:

For a video tour of the new Lord Tennyson Elementary: https://youtu.be/OYipI-bIw0Q

For a video tour of the new Sir Sandford Fleming Elementary: https://youtu.be/Q6HyZ_MHqV4

For a video tour of the new Maple Grove Elementary: https://youtu.be/GrCUgPjhafY

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