École Quadra elementary school will receive a safe birthday present this year, and join in the province's mission to bring all schools up to the latest seismic standards.
Construction began at the elementary this week as part of a $9-million seismic upgrade to the school, with its completion to coincide with the school's 100th birthday in the fall of 2014.
“Student safety is a district priority and the Seismic Mitigation Program ensures every student feels safe at school,” said Peg Orcherton, Greater Victoria school district board chair. “I can think of no
better way to commemorate the school's 100th year than with these modern improvements."
The school, which originally opened in 1914, will see the addition of interior and exterior concrete shear walls, the removal of clay and brick chimneys and reinforcing bars added to masonry walls, all thanks to the project agreement signed by the Ministry of Education and the Greater Victoria board of education. All four sections of the school require seismic upgrading, except the 1974 gym addition, which was upgraded in 2003.
The elementary school has an enrolment of 305 kindergarten to Grade 5 students, with capacity for 515, and has been a rare division of Victoria's education platform – it features a curriculum in both English and French, specialized music instruction for all grades and a unique First Nations program.
Students will attend the former Richmond elementary school for the 2013-14 school year, with busing provided.
Since 2001, the provincial government has spent more than $2.5 billion and has committed more than $4.1 billion to school capital and maintenance projects throughout B.C.