New Director Joins the VSB's Seismic Project Office

Janson Ho has been appointed director of the Vancouver seismic project office, which was created last fall to expedite the Province's Seismic Mitigation Program in the Vancouver school district.

Ho will take on a senior project management role and report to the project office steering committee, which consists of the superintendent and secretary-treasurer from the VSB, the deputy minister of education and the CEO of Partnerships BC.

The new director's first task will be to complete the setup of the Vancouver seismic project office, which will oversee seismic upgrades to high-risk schools in Vancouver. The goal is to have the office fully established with professional staff including project managers, financial analysts and planners. 

"We are very excited about being able to attract a candidate of Janson's calibre to head up this important new office," says Christopher Richardson, Vancouver School Board Chair. "Through the project office director's leadership, we hope to accelerate our capital project work in order to ensure that all our schools are seismically safe as soon as possible."

Ho was hired after an extensive executive search. He has more than 30 years of experience in civil engineering and project management, including seismic projects in California and Vancouver, as well as other facilities projects in B.C. Ho was associate director of facilities design and management at the City of Vancouver, and more recently, director of facilities for the North Vancouver school district.

Last August, the Ministry of Education and the Vancouver School Board signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create a co-governed project office dedicated to overseeing seismic projects in the district. Since then, a steering committee has been established and an interim director has been providing advisory support during the search for a permanent director. Several projects, including Lord Nelson Elementary, Lord Strathcona Elementary, L'École Bilingue Elementary and General Gordon Elementary have been accelerated in recent months under the interim director.

In addition, under the terms of the MOU, the VSB will submit to the Province for approval a long-range facilities plan by June 30, 2015. The plan will be based on projected student enrolment and location, ultimately to help the board make better use of the excess capacity in their facilities. The steering committee will then monitor progress on the plan on an annual basis.


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