VANCOUVER - With help from some enthusiastic students and staff, Education Minister Don McRae officially re-opened Lord Kitchener Elementary today following an $18.7-million seismic upgrade and partial replacement of the school.
The project was implemented in two phases: the first provided for the renewal of the original heritage, two-storey, wood building that was built in 1914, while the second phase replaced the main building that was constructed in 1924. With the school now ready to occupy, the old building will be demolished.
The new construction, which connects to the original heritage schoolhouse, was built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards. The open design maximizes the use of natural light and encourages larger, more interactive learning spaces through a series of garage-like doors that connect classrooms. The school now has capacity for 450 grades 1-7 students and 60 full-day kindergarteners.
A main feature of the project is the school's new Neighbourhood Learning Centre. The centre includes a variety of spaces for community-based programs such as a multipurpose room for out-of-school care, a multifunctional tech lab for the sciences and an enhanced gym with a stage and change rooms for the music program and public use.
During the re-opening, McRae was treated to a performance by the school's choir and was also given a student-led tour of the new replacement.
Don McRae, Education Minister -
"We are working to make sure all students and staff in B.C. have safe learning and working environments. The powerful earthquake off Haida Gwaii last month was a reminder of the unpredictability of our region and we are committed to working with all school districts to ensure their facilities are seismically sound."
Patti Bacchus, Vancouver school board chair -
"With so many schools in SD 39 approaching 100 years old, it's important we push ahead with seismic upgrade projects like the one completed at Lord Kitchener Elementary. We still have about 50 schools in our district that need similar seismic upgrades and we look forward to a continued partnership with the provincial government to accomplish this."
Colin Hansen, MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena -
"I think this project really offers the best of both worlds for our local families. Not only does the upgrade and replacement provide safer, 21st-century learning spaces for students and staff but it also preserves a historical building that's been a mainstay in this community for almost a century."
- Since 2001, the government of B.C. has invested more than $188 million on 40 capital and seismic projects in the Vancouver school district (SD 39).
- Over the past year, the government has committed $353 million in funding for new school and school expansion projects and more than $122 million as part of its seismic mitigation program to provide structural upgrades at 14 high-priority schools.
- Since 2001, the government has spent more than $840 million on seismic upgrades of schools in 37 school districts.
Vancouver school board: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/
BC's Education Plan: www.bcedplan.ca
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education