Phoenix to get seismic upgrades

Province commits to spending $9 million to improve Campbell River middle school

  • Aug. 15, 2013 1:00 p.m.

As students return to class this September to advance their academic skills, Ecole Phoenix Middle school will also be improving, as construction begins on a seismic upgrade.

The upgrade is part of the government’s Seismic Mitigation Program.

Originally constructed in 1949, École Phoenix was almost completely rebuilt in 1979 after a fire left only the library intact.

In 1999, an addition was constructed. The school is divided into eight blocks, six of which require seismic upgrading.

The Ministry of Education and the Campbell River board of education (SD72) have signed a project agreement to deliver the project at a cost of just under $9 million.

Included in the budget is $430,000 provided by the school district to upgrade to a metal roof.

“I’m delighted the seismic upgrade will begin at Phoenix,” said board chair Michele Babchuck. “Once completed, the facility will be ready to welcome students for generations to come.”

Improvements will include the removal of hazardous materials, installing exterior concrete shear walls, and inserting reinforcing steel into concrete blocks.

With the agreement in hand, the district plans to begin construction this year, with completion expected in December 2014.

Construction will be phased, with students accommodated in five portable classrooms.

Quick facts:

  • Since 2001, the Province has invested more than $26.9 million in the Campbell River school district, which includes funding for full-day kindergarten.
  • Most recently, Ecole des Deux Mondes, Southgate Middle and Ecole Willow Point Elementary underwent seismic upgrades in the district.
  • The School Seismic Mitigation Program is backed by leading B.C. engineers and geoscientists who designed new guidelines for seismic safety in schools based on the latest research from major earthquakes around the globe.