The importance of trades was front and centre Friday as Education Minister George Abbott opened the new Fairey Technical Building at Victoria High school.
Trades skills will make a “huge contribution” to the B.C. economy, said Abbott, adding that the new trades training facility replaced “an old building that cried out for replacement.”
Tom Ferris, the Greater Victoria school district board of education chair, agreed.
He said the trades learned by students, whether or not used for career purposes, “ground students in the reality we all need.”
Ferris praised the schools teachers who he said “lobbied so hard to get the facility.”
During his walk around the new facility, Abbott went onto a roof of a large outdoor playhouse being built by students in the woodwork shop, and praised the students for the structure’s design and the workmanship that went into it.
The building was designed by student Josh Mann, coincidentally the son of the the architect who designed the Fairey building.
Abbott said the new tech wing gives more than 350 students the opportunity to take courses that prepare them for careers while still attending high school.
Abbott later stopped by Central Middle school where a $14.1-million seismic renovation was recently completed. He said the government has spent $95.3 million in seismic upgrades to district schools in the past decade.