Lord Strathcona elementary school getting $25.6-million seismic upgrade


The provincial government has announced funding for seismic upgrades at East Vancouver's Lord Strathcona elementary school, nearly a decade after it was selected for earthquake proofing.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender said today (December 17) that three of the heritage school's five buildings will be upgraded at a total cost of $25.6 million.

During construction, students will be relocated to the two buildings not undergoing work. The upgraded school will have the capacity for 510 students, including 60 in kindergarten and 450 in grades 1 to 7.

Construction will also create space for a neighbourhood learning centre, featuring a music room, counselling, a French immersion library, a performance space, out-of-school care, and a learning exchange centre.

"This is truly a unique project," Fassbender said in a news release. "It is one of the oldest elementary schools in B.C. and has served as an important neighbourhood focal point for over 122 years. With this upgrade and a new Neighbourhood Learning Centre, Lord Strathcona will continue to serve students and the community for decades to come." 

Lord Strathcona was originally built in 1891. In 2005, the Vancouver school district designated the Downtown Eastside school as being in need of a seismic upgrade.

"We are so happy the upgrade to Strathcona Elementary can now move ahead," Patti Bacchus, chair of the Vancouver school board, said in the province's release. "I'd like to thank the Ministry of Education for working with the Vancouver school board, VSB staff and the Strathcona school community to make the seismic upgrade and heritage preservation of this school a reality."

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I would like to say a huge thank you to the parents who year after year kept up their advocacy efforts. Umpteen years ago this was noted as the #1 priority building in the school district for seismic upgrade, but the province/Minister of Education never concretely offered up the much needed funds.

It's been a long time coming!
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Many parents are to be commended. Thanks for lobbying to keep our children and community a priority in Vancouver and the province. You have done so much for us.
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Thank you everyone who help make this posible, i hope the new building will look fantastic.
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