Vancouver School Board Remains Committed to Seismic Targets

Board & Committees, Schools & Students

The Vancouver School Board remains committed to pushing forward on current timelines aimed at upgrading schools requiring seismic mitigation as soon as possible despite media reports that indicate the Ministry of Education expects that it may take longer than the original targeted date of 2020 to complete all seismic projects.

Board Chairperson Christopher Richardson says the district remains committed to the current timelines and is concerned that a revised schedule could put the safety of Vancouver students at risk. 

“Our goal is to upgrade all of our schools as soon as possible,” he said.  “We recognize that these projects are very complicated and complex and we trust that the provincial government will continue to work in partnership with us to get this job done."

The pace of seismic work in Vancouver is consistent with that of work in other B.C. school districts.  The district intends to continue to work with the Ministry of Education to complete the remaining projects as soon as possible.

“At this time we have had no formal correspondence from the Ministry of Education notifying us of any change,” said Richardson.

The district has made significant strides in recent years to push forward seismic projects.  Earlier this week the district and the Ministry of Education announced the hiring of Janson Ho as the district’s new Project Office Director. The Project Office is expected to accelerate the current seismic program. The district and Ministry of Education have already completed 20 seismic projects, which combined are worth approximately $218 million.  

The district currently has three seismic projects in construction at Gordon Elementary, Kitsilano Secondary and Queen Mary Elementary as well as one project currently in tender at L’Ecole Bilingue. Two projects at Strathcona and Nelson Elementary Schools are currently in the design phase and seven projects at Fleming Elementary, John Oliver Secondary, Carleton Elementary, Begbie Elementary, Kingsford Smith Elementary, Weir Elementary and Grenfell Elementary are in the project definition stage.  Finally the district has also recently completed a seismic swing site at South Hill in order to accelerate future projects.