No funding yet for seismic upgrades to Nanaimo schools

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff
November 14, 2017 - 5:03pm

File photo/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — It could be some time before some Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools could survive a major earthquake.

It's unclear if the school district will be able to take advantage of the more than $500 million set aside by the B.C. government over three years for seismic upgrades. Three schools, Cilaire Elementary, North Cedar Intermediate and Pleasant Valley Elementary, are listed as high risk and requiring the upgrades.

Dale Burgos, communications director for SD68, said there's “No indication of any funds coming to the district in terms of seismic mitigation or upgrades at these specific schools.”

The upgrades are listed in the district capital plan, which is reviewed by the Ministry of Education.

Burgos said while earthquake-proofing their schools hasn't been approved, pertinent discussions are ongoing with the Ministry.

Two schools in Nanaimo have upgraded their durability if an earthquake strikes. Wellington Secondary was upgraded over four years and cost nearly $23 million, $19.5 of which came from the Ministry. Roughly $950,000 was directed to Pauline Haarer Elementary in 2008.

“These are significant projects worth a considerable amount of money,” Burgos said. “Not necessarily anything the district would have readily available.”

Rutherford Elementary is included in the list of schools at risk during an earthquake, but since it's being closed already, Burgos said it's not being considered.

There are more than 150 schools listed by the province as in need of upgrades which aren't under way.


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