The B.C. government plans to spend $11.6 million on seismic upgrades to Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith elementary in South Vancouver, Education Minister Mike Bernier announced today.
The province had said it wouldn't fund long-awaited and much needed upgrades to Vancouver schools, until the school board came up with a plan to get enrollment up to 95 per cent capacity.
Two days ago, Vancouver School Board trustees approved a plan to do just that.
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"We are pleased that Vancouver has committed to a solid long-term facilities plan, as that will assist us all in moving forward with the overall seismic program in the Vancouver School District," said Bernier in a release.
"Our key priority is to invest in seismic mitigation projects that best support student and staff safety."
The upgrades include 18 classrooms, the library, and the gym with reinforced walls and columns, the release states.
Where will kids go?
Construction is expected to start in 2017, and parents at the school are welcoming the news.
The school's Parent Advisory Committee had wanted the students to be kept together, in portable classrooms.
"[The province] won't pay for portables if there's empty seats in the actual district," said Johnny Sandhu, co-chair of the school's PAC.
"The school board, I believe, doesn't have the funds for it, or they won't pay for that either. So we're kind of stuck in between."
The Vancouver School Board says public consultation on the plan will begin next month.