Students, parents and staff of General Wolfe and Edith Cavell learned that their schools will soon become safer in the event of an earthquake.
Education Minister, Rob Fleming, made the announcement as the sun streamed through the library windows at General Wolfe on the afternoon of September 28th.
Both Cavell and Wolfe require seismic upgrades, and the Government of B.C. is fully funding
the cost of the work to keep their students safer – a combined value of $35.8 million.
Construction on both schools is expected to begin in spring 2020 and be ready for students in
fall 2021. The heritage structures of both facilities will remain intact.
"Today's announcement is really about providing students and staff with the opportunity to
learn, grow and experience an amazing education in an inspiring learning environment," said
Suzanne Hoffman, superintendent, Vancouver School District. "The school communities –
students, parents and school staff – will have opportunities to meet with district and project
staff in the coming months to share their input about how, together, we can achieve that
Cavell Elementary, in Vancouver's South Cambie neighbourhood, was built in 1920 and is at
high risk of sustaining damage in the event of a significant earthquake. The seismic upgrades
will cost $15.6 million. During construction, students are scheduled to attend MacCorkindale
and Champlain Heights elementary schools.
General Wolfe Elementary's entire school will be seismically upgraded at a cost of $20.2
million. The school was built between 1910 and 1912 in the Riley Park-Little Mountain
neighbourhood and is also rated as a high seismic risk. During construction, students are
scheduled to attend the South Hill Education Centre swing space.
"On behalf of the Board, we are delighted with today's announcement for the Edith Cavell and
General Wolfe elementary schools," said Janet Fraser, chair, Vancouver Board of Education.
"Not only will the upgrades at both schools make students and staff safer in the event of an
earthquake, our intent is to provide an even more welcoming environment for learning."
This latest funding commitment means more than $186 million has been dedicated to replace or upgrade six high-risk schools in Vancouver – Sir Matthew Begbie, Bayview, David
Lloyd George, Eric Hamber Secondary school, and now General Wolfe and Edith Cavell elementary schools.