VICTORIA -- Construction is underway on an expansion to Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Elementary school.

The B.C. government says the 12-classroom addition is expected to be completed in February 2022 and will increase the school’s capacity by 295 students.

“Students and staff deserve to spend their days in positive, engaging and inspiring classrooms that give them the best chance to thrive at school,” said Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside in a statement Tuesday.

“Our government is taking action to ensure students in fast-growing communities have the school space they need to succeed in their education,” Whiteside said.

The province is spending $14.6 million on the expansion while the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District is kicking in $1.25 million.

Two other Nanaimo schools will undergo structural upgrades in the months ahead.

The province is spending $18.8 million for seismic work at Pleasant Valley and Cilaire elementary schools to ensure safety if a major earthquake occurs.

Construction is expected to be underway on the upgrades in June 2021 with an estimated completion date of September 2022.