Every student in the Delta School District will soon be learning in a seismically safe school, thanks to a $1.6-million investment to upgrade Gibson Elementary.

This is the last high seismic risk school left to be upgraded in the district.

Education Minister Rob Fleming and MLA for Delta North Ravi Kahlon visited the school today to make the announcement and celebrate the first day of school alongside students, staff, parents and school district officials.

Upgrades at Gibson will include seismically strengthening the classroom wing and the gymnasium. Government is contributing $1.6 million toward the project. Work is expected to begin in the summer of 2018, and be complete in time for the start of school in September 2018.

The Delta School District is a leader in the province at completing projects on time and on budget. The district has successfully completed eight seismic mitigation projects – Gibson will be the ninth.

Government is committed to speeding the pace of seismic upgrades throughout B.C., and is creating a plan to address the backlog of seismic projects in the province. This includes encouraging collaboration between the Ministry of Education, school districts and local governments to meet ambitious timelines and reduce the time it takes to plan and build a school. Government will also work to cut wait times for school construction by speeding up funding approvals.

The Province will work with the Seismic Mitigation Program experts, including the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C., to look for ways to more efficiently and cost-effectively meet and exceed the building code for seismic safety.

There are currently 64 school seismic projects underway throughout British Columbia under the Seismic Mitigation Program.

Quotes:

Rob Fleming, Minister of Education –

“I’m very happy that by next school year, every student in the Delta School District will have the opportunity to succeed in a seismically safe school. This announcement is one step toward delivering on our commitment to speed up investments in school capital projects throughout the province.”

Ravi Kahlon, MLA for Delta North –

“This new seismic upgrade is great news for students and families in our Delta community – once complete, every school in Delta will be seismically safe for students. The upgrade will ensure our kids here at Gibson Elementary have a safe learning environment for many years to come.”

Laura Dixon, chair, Delta School Board –

“As always, the safety of our students is our top priority, and we are very pleased to be working together with government to move towards an entirely seismically upgraded district. The hard work of our staff, along with the Ministry of Education, to ensure our learning spaces are safe is another example of our commitment to being a leading district in learner success in B.C.”

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017EDUC0097-001514