Historic Vic High to get nearly $80M in seismic upgrades, new classrooms
Published Thursday, June 27, 2019 4:09PM PDT Last Updated Thursday, June 27, 2019 7:00PM PDT
Victoria High School will get a new seismic upgrade that maintains the building's historic facade, the province announced Thurs., June 27, 2019. (CTV Vancouver Island)
The province is providing $77.1 million for seismic upgrades to Victoria High School, with construction starting next summer.
Western Canada’s oldest high school will also get a 200-seat expansion to combat overcrowding in the Greater Victoria School District.
The project is expected to begin next August and includes a new childcare centre for the community.
The iconic exterior of the building will remain intact, as well as historic features of the building like the marble entryway, wood panels and stained glass in the auditorium.
"We’re investing in Vic High to give students a safer school, while ensuring a key part of Victoria’s history remains standing," said Education Minister Rob Fleming.
MLA Carole James says the upgrades have been a long time coming.
"Our community has long been waiting for this project to move forward, and I’m excited to know it’s being done in the best way possible," said James.
"For over 100 years, Victoria High School has served families in our community. Today’s announcement of a safer school, more classrooms and new child care spaces will better support learners for decades to come."
Since September 2017, the province has approved about $1.5 billion in school capital investments, including $750 million for seismic upgrades at 37 schools. or
The Greater Victoria School District is contributing $2.6 million to the project, and board Chair Jordan Watters says the government support will significantly help the community as a whole.
“We are able to seismically secure a school with a high level of need, create space for increasing enrolment in the Victoria High catchment, improve accessibility and add amenities that will benefit the whole community,” said Watters.
“All while preserving the heritage of this landmark that represents so much to so many. We are grateful that this remarkable 1914 building will be able to serve students for another 100 years."
Construction is expected to be completed by September 2022. In the meantime, students will be relocated to SJ Willis Education Centre.