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School receives funding for long-awaited upgrades

date:Feb 06,2013 source:互联网 editorial staff:linan clicks:

Wellington gets $22.6 million for seismic work
Wellington gets $22.6 million for seismic work
School receives funding for long-awaited upgrades 
The aging Wellington Secondary School in Nanaimo has been earmarked to receive $22.6 million in much-needed seismic upgrades.
Education Minister Don McRae made the announcement Friday at the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools' Success for All workshop that was held at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
The provincial funding for the upgrades at Wellington is the first major capital project to be announced in the district since 2001, when Cinnabar Elementary School was constructed at a cost of $3.7 million.
While the province will pay for the majority of the project, the district will contribute $3 million from its capital reserves.
In a facilities audit conducted by the Ministry of Education in 2004, Wellington school rated high on the need for seismic upgrades because it's constructed mainly from heavy concrete and more susceptible to earthquake damage than schools built primarily with wood.
In a seismic review of the province's schools conducted three years ago, Wellington was the only school in the district considered to be at "high-risk" to earthquakes according to a new priority list.
But it appears that decisions on other long-anticipated seismic upgrades and capital projects in the district may have to wait at least until after the provincial election in May.
"The catastrophic results from earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand have reiterated the importance of preparing for similar events here in B.C.," McRae said to the approximately 1,700 district staff who attended the workshop.
"Nothing is more important than the safety of students in this province, and this seismic upgrade project will provide current and future generations of students with secure buildings in which to work and study."
Wellington school, which currently has capacity for 900 Grade 8 to 12 students, was built in several phases from 1967 to 1997. It consists of six blocks or sections, including one central block that houses the school library and five outer blocks that house classrooms, shops, a gymnasium and administrative spaces.
Five of the blocks are deemed high-risk and require seismic upgrading, and the plans include the complete demolition and replacement of one classroom block.
The seismic project is scheduled to be completed by fall of 2016 and school board chairman Jamie Brennan said Wellington's students will be moved around the school to accommodate the work, and portables may have to be temporarily brought in.
Brennan said the approval of Wellington's seismic project is the result of "great collaboration and a lot of hard work" between school district staff and the Ministry of Education.
"Making sure our students, teachers and administrators are safe is a priority for the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district," he said.
"This seismic upgrade is going to allow some of our district's best and brightest to continue to thrive in a sound learning environment."

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