Two more seismically safe schools open in Vancouver
Students and staff are returning to General Wolfe Elementary and Lord Byng Secondary now that they are seismically safe schools.
“Starting a new school year is always exciting, and now students and staff at General Wolfe Elementary and Lord Byng Secondary have new and improved schools to return to as we remain committed to seismic facility upgrades across the province,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “I am pleased with our progress to ensure B.C. schools are safe in the event of an earthquake, and happy to add two more schools to the growing list of projects we have completed.”
Since September 2017, the Government of B.C. has invested more than $325 million for seismic upgrades or replacements at 12 Vancouver schools, giving almost 7,000 students a safer place to learn. Almost $40 million has been invested for the completed seismic upgrades at General Wolfe Elementary and Lord Byng Secondary.
Students from General Wolfe Elementary attended the South Hill swing space classrooms since the work began in fall 2019. Lord Byng Secondary students were able to remain on site throughout the upgrades. Minor upgrades may continue through early September, but are not expected to interrupt learning.
“One of our most crucial hopes is to have all students attend seismically safe schools as soon as possible,” says Carmen Cho, chair, Vancouver School District. “As we usher in the new school year, we are excited to see that hope become reality for the students and staff of General Wolfe Elementary and Lord Byng Secondary. We are grateful for the ministry’s funding to bring these projects to fruition.”
These projects 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 past four years, the Government of B.C. has approved more than $1.2 billion in seismic upgrades or replacements at 58 schools provincewide, so more than 31,400 students can be better protected at school during an earthquake.
Budget 2021 includes almost $3.5 billion for school capital investments, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and site purchases to ensure land is in place to accommodate growth in fast-growing communities throughout the province.
George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview –
“The updates to General Wolfe Elementary are critical to supporting the health and safety of residents in the community. I know students, families and staff will be happy to return to the renovated school and to see these tangible investments in our schools and our communities.”
David Eby, MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey –
“Safe schools for our kids are a prerequisite for learning, teaching and working, and a priority for our government as we make life better for communities across the province. That such a wonderful school as Lord Byng will be safe and open for generations of kids to come is great news for our community. Thanks to all of the engineers, architects, builders, teachers, administrators, staff, parents and kids who supported and helped deliver these critically important upgrades.”
Gord Lau, chair, Vancouver School District Parental Advisory Council –
“We are happy to see the support for these projects and look forward to the day when all Vancouver students are in seismically safe schools.”
For more information about Vanouver School Board School District 39, visit: https://www.vsb.bc.ca/Pages/default.aspx
For more information about major public school capital projects underway, visit:
To learn more about B.C.’s Seismic Mitigation Program, visit:
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