The Government of British Columbia announced that work is complete on the upgrade and expansion of Victoria High School.

“Our government continues to build, expand and upgrade schools throughout the province in order to meet the needs of B.C. students and their families,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “I am excited that now more students will have access to an upgraded and modern Victoria High.”

The Province provided $97 million to complete the seismic upgrade and expansion project, with the Greater Victoria School District providing $3 million. The new addition creates spaces for 200 more students, and includes a new library and learning commons.

Victoria High’s new neighbourhood learning centre will also include new child care spaces with the Province providing $1.3 million from the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund. The spaces are expected to be available in 2025.

“Families need to be able to access quality child care services close to their homes and our government is working with school districts to deliver this,” said Mitzi Dean, Minister of State for Child Care. “The new spaces at Victoria High will be a huge benefit to families and the community.”

As part of the upgrade, the interior was reconfigured for more classrooms while keeping many of the historic features of the 110-year-old school, and incorporating Indigenous designs that honour local First Nations.

The school district worked with Indigenous artists and knowledge keepers for the design elements that are now a part of all areas in the school, including the Songhees Nation, Esquimalt Nation, Métis Nation of Greater Victoria, and the Urban Peoples House Indigenous Advisory.

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Built with sustainability in mind, the addition also has energy efficiency features and holds a LEED Gold equivalent.

“On behalf of the board of education, thank you to all who contributed to the seismic renovation and addition at Victoria High School,” said Nicole Duncan, board chair, Greater Victoria School District. “We acknowledge the complexity in preserving this important heritage landmark and doing so during a global pandemic. Our goal was to create an inclusive and modern learning environment that supports the diverse interests and aspirations of students and staff.”

Over the past seven years, the Province has completed seismic upgrades at Campus View Elementary and Braefoot Elementary and is building a new replacement school at Cedar Hill Middle School in the Greater Victoria School District. With more than $166 million in funding, these school upgrades will support 2,385 seismically safer seats for students.

Feature image: (Government of B.C.)

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