Student Reese Emde takes part in a Vic High tradition and signs the brick wall in the school’s attic in 2018. While onsite group tours of the school won’t happen ahead of the seismic upgrade construction project due to start this year, a 3-D virtual tour is now available online. (Courtesy Vic High)

Student Reese Emde takes part in a Vic High tradition and signs the brick wall in the school’s attic in 2018. While onsite group tours of the school won’t happen ahead of the seismic upgrade construction project due to start this year, a 3-D virtual tour is now available online. (Courtesy Vic High)

District launches virtual tour of historic Victoria High

Historic school destined for temporary closure due to seismic upgrades

Alumni, current students and interested community members may already be lamenting the eventual loss of the “old” Victoria High School.

Slated for a major seismic upgrade due to start in September, Vic High is the oldest school in Western Canada – its original 1876 campus was in a log building on the current Central Middle School site. The existing four-storey school in Fernwood is also one of the oldest in the region, built in 1914, and has plenty of colourful history attached to it.

RELATED: Completion date for seismic upgrades to Vic High pushed to 2022

The Greater Victoria School District planned to offer group tours of the building ahead of the start of construction this fall as part of a final celebration, but health and safety concerns related to COVID-19 cancelled those plans.

Instead, SD61 launched a virtual tour of the building – with the help of Visually Speaking Digital Marketing – allowing viewers to move their way through hallways, classrooms, the auditorium and gymnasiums.

“A virtual tour is a creative solution to allow the community into the school one last time,” District Board Chair Jordan Watters said in a release. “Our board understands the historical significance of this school and has heard many stories over the past two years through our consultation process about how much our community values the building. With the use of specialized technology, we are able to document the iconic landmark that has been standing for over a century, and preserve precious memories.”

Find the Victoria High 3D virtual tour at bit.ly/VicHigh3DVRTour. Here’s some tips for using the online program:

• Click on the “Dollhouse” feature to select a space within the school

• Zoom in and out by using the scroll feature on your mouse

• Click the white circles to travel to different areas of the school

• Watch for the blue circle rings – click on them to learn interesting historical information

ALSO READ: SD61 asks public for input on Vic High renovations

For more background information on the seismic project visit sd61.bc.ca. The District plans to share architectural designs for the Vic High upgrade this fall. Plans call for students to attend a renovated S.J. Willis Education Centre during the Vic High project, which is scheduled to completed in time for the September 2022 return to school.


 

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Major construction for seismic upgrading is scheduled to begin this year at Victoria High School High. (Black Press Media files)

Major construction for seismic upgrading is scheduled to begin this year at Victoria High School High. (Black Press Media files)