North Vancouver School District
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News Item

Handsworth students can look forward to a brand-new school

January 15, 2018

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Students at Handsworth Secondary school will have an expanded and seismically safer school to call their own by September 2021.

The Government of British Columbia is providing $62.3 million to replace the 58-year-old school with a brand-new, seismically safer facility. The project also expands Handsworth’s capacity by 200 spaces to 1,400 to meet a growing student population.

“It’s time to bring a new, expanded and seismically safe school to Handsworth students,” said Minister of Education Rob Fleming. “Our government is doing things differently by working for families and making investments that support student safety. This project gives parents the comfort of knowing their children are going to school in a safe, positive environment.”

Handsworth Secondary was built in 1960 and needs to be replaced to ensure the safety of students, teachers and support staff in the event of a major seismic event.

“The North Vancouver Board of Education is very grateful for the $62.3 million in funding to replace Handsworth Secondary,” said North Vancouver Board of Education chair Christie Sacré. “Our board has worked very hard with the ministry over the last few years to have our schools seismically upgraded, and after Handsworth, we have only one building left with seismic needs. We are excited to be providing students with a new building that provides the 21st-century learning environment, which is seismically sound and will include environmentally sustainable features.”

This project is the best option for students because it allows the school community to remain in the current building until the new school is completed. It is also the lowest-cost option over the life cycle of the school.

The new school will be built on the west side of the property. Upon completion, the current building will be demolished and replaced with a new grass field.

“The North Vancouver School District is pleased that Handsworth Secondary school will be replaced with a new modern, 21st-century school that will provide a safe and innovative place to teach and learn for the long term,” said North Vancouver School District superintendent Mark Pearmain.  “As this has been high on our capital plan list for a number of years, we are excited to be able to move forward on this project.”

Government is committed to completing the Seismic Mitigation Program to ensure every family in B.C. can send children to a safe school. Currently, 168 of 346 high-risk schools have been upgraded or replaced.

Since Sept. 1, 2017, government has announced more than $160 million to upgrade or replace 12 high-risk schools. Earlier today, Fleming announced $24.2 million for the seismic replacement of David Lloyd George Elementary in Vancouver.

Government is addressing the backlog of seismic projects in the province by accelerating funding approvals and reducing the time it takes to plan and upgrade a school. This includes collaborating with school districts and local governments to meet ambitious timelines.

The Province is working with Seismic Mitigation Program experts, including Engineers and Geoscientists BC, to look for ways to more efficiently and cost-effectively meet or exceed the BC Building Code for seismic safety.

Quick Facts:

  • Government has committed $522 million for seismic upgrades throughout British Columbia as part of its three-year fiscal plan.
  • Once Handsworth Secondary is replaced, 10 of the 11 schools in North Vancouver with a high seismic risk will have had upgrades completed.

Learn More:

British Columbia Seismic Mitigation Program:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/administration/resource-management/capital-planning/seismic-mitigation-program

Read the original news release here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018EDUC0004-000041.