Students at Dr. Annie B. Jamieson Elementary school will be in a seismically safer school by the end of the decade, Vancouver School Board and the provincial government have announced.
In a joint announcement at Jamieson Elementary today (Sep. 13), VSB chairperson Mike Lombardi and Education Minister Mike Bernier revealed work to limit earthquake risks at the school will begin in winter 2017. The Province of British Columbia is contributing $13.1 million to fund the seismic upgrade.
"The Vancouver School Board is pleased to see the provincial government commit funding for the seismic upgrading of Jamieson Elementary," said Lombardi. "Our goal is to get students and staff into safe schools as quickly as possible."
The school, which is home to nearly 500 students and VSB's Mandarin bilingual program, was built in four blocks. The three blocks built in 1957 will be upgraded. The fourth school block was built in 2001 and is considered low seismic risk. The project also includes accessibility improvements and new storm and water lines.
During construction, VSB plans to keep the entire school population together by temporarily relocating them to another site. Students will return to Jamieson once the upgrade is complete, likely in fall 2019.
The Vancouver Project Office (VPO) helped move the project forward. The VPO is a partnership between the Ministry of Education and the Vancouver Board of Education created in 2014 to complete Vancouver seismic projects as quickly and efficiently as possible.
"We are building on our record of seismic investments in Vancouver - more than $200 million worth under way today," said Bernier. "We created the seismic program back in 2004 and we're going to continue pushing forward."