Two earthquake-risk schools to be replaced


Hundreds of Vancouver area parents who are worried if their child will learn in a seismically safe school can breathe a sigh of relief.

Today Premier John Horgan announced the replacement of Sir Matthew Begbie and Bayview elementary schools. Also, finishing upgrades at Fairview Elementary and Westview Secondary will mean Maple Ridge children will all be learning in a seismically safe school.

The announcement comes as the province moves forward with plans on $522 in seismic upgrades over the next three years.

“Parents have been waiting too long for action to make our schools more earthquake safe. That’s why we are accelerating seismic upgrades throughout the province,” said Premier Horgan.

The new Begbie will cost $22.4-million and be built on a new footprint on the existing property, allowing students to remain at their home school during construction. Bayview will be demolished, making way for a new $24.5-million school on the same footprint. Both schools have been identified as being at a high risk of collapse an earthquake.

“Parents need to feel confident their children are safe at school,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming.

Bayview Community Elementary was originally built in 1913 with additions in 1929 and 1962. Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary school was built in 1922, with another block added in 1949. Both new schools will also include Neighbourhood Learning Centres, which will provide access to education, community services, recreation and culture.

The new schools are scheduled to welcome students in late 2021.

[VIDEO: Below Premier John Horgan answers questions about what type of timeline the government is pursuing to upgrade other sensitive facilities]

Born and raised minutes from Motown, in Windsor Ontario, I got my start in radio and print in Canada's southernmost city before opportunities reporting and anchoring for television brought me to Muskoka and eventually North Bay. More recently, I served Kingston as a Videojournalist and News Director for an app-based company. Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia is home now and I'm excited to get to know my new community by serving as a multimedia reporter & anchor at 98.3 FM!