4 high-risk earthquake Lower Mainland schools to be replaced or upgraded

Aging Bayview and Begbie elementary schools in Vancouver are the latest to be targeted for seismic upgrading.

Vancouver's Bayview and Begbie elementary to be replaced; Fairview and Westview in Maple Ridge to be upgraded

Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary School is one of two Vancouver schools that will be replaced under the provincial government's latest seismic upgrading program. (Farrah Merali/CBC)

Students and teachers at Sir Matthew Begbie and Bayview elementary schools in Vancouver can look forward to brand new schools after Premier John Horgan announced the two are the latest to be targeted for school seismic upgrading.

Construction of the $24.5 million replacement for Bayview on Vancouver's west side will first require the demolition of the existing school, parts of which were built in 1913. 

A Vancouver School Board spokesperson couldn't confirm where Bayview students and teachers would move to during the shutdown period but did note that there is existing temporary accommodation at the nearby Queen Elizabeth annex on Vancouver's west side.

Begbie students will remain in place until construction of the $22.4 million replacement is complete. The new school will be built on the grounds of the existing school in East Vancouver.

Begbie's original building dates back to 1922. 

"Every child deserves to go to a safe, secure and healthy school," said Horgan during a news conference to announce the projects.

Both new schools are scheduled to open in 2021.

Later in the day, Horgan also announced both Fairview Elementary and Westview Secondary schools in Maple Ridge will receive seismic strengthening around the gym and some classrooms. 

Work on those projects will begin next year and is expected to cost $3 million.