2 Nanaimo schools to receive $18.8M in seismic upgrades
Cilaire Elementary School is one of two schools that's receiving new seismic upgrades: (Google Maps)
VICTORIA -- Two Nanaimo elementary schools will soon be receiving significant seismic upgrades, according to the B.C. government.
Provincial funding of $18.8 million will go towards upgrades at Cilaire Elementary School and Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Nanaimo.
Construction is expected to start in June 2021 and will be complete by September 2022.
"Parents deserve the comfort of knowing their children will be protected at school if an earthquake were to impact Vancouver Island," said B.C. Minister of Education Rob Fleming in an announcement Friday.
"That's why we're moving at record speed to upgrade schools in Nanaimo and throughout B.C, continuing our work to ensure every student can attend a seismically safe school," said Fleming.
While construction is underway, students at the two schools will attend different schools, with transportation provided by the government. Children from Cilaire will attend Woodlands secondary school while students from Pleasant Valley will attend Rutherford Elementary School.
The $18.8-million in funding will also go towards renovating Rutherford and Woodlands school, as seismic upgrades are performed at the two elementary schools.
"The safety and well-being of our students and staff remains our top priority," said Charlene McKay, chair of the Nanaimo Ladysmith board of education in a release.
Meanwhile, the province says that construction of a $15.9 million addition to Hammond Bay elementary school will begin soon. The expansion will add 295 seats to the school.
Since 2017, B.C. has provided $1.9 billion in funding to create seismic upgrades for 94 schools across the province.
Moving forward, the provincial government has earmarked a record breaking $2.8 billion from its 2020 budget to go towards expanding schools, building seismic upgrades or purchasing land for future school construction.