Seismic upgrades underway at Surrey’s Prince Charles Elementary and Queen Elizabeth Secondary

SEISMIC upgrades are underway at Surrey’s Prince Charles Elementary and Queen Elizabeth Secondary schools.

“Students and staff have the expectation that they will be safe at school in the event of an earthquake,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education, on Monday. “With these seismic upgrades, we are continuing to act on our commitment to the well-being of children and their communities. I am pleased two more Surrey schools are joining the list of those we have already upgraded.”

The Government of B.C. is investing $11.82 million for the seismic upgrade at Prince Charles Elementary and $13.83 million at Queen Elizabeth Secondary. Both projects are expected to be completed in fall 2022.

Students at the schools will be able to continue learning on site while the upgrades are underway.

“Seismic upgrades to schools like Prince Charles Elementary benefit the whole community by giving families peace of mind and creating safer schools for students and staff,” said Bruce Ralston, MLA for Surrey-Whalley. “These projects help students, teachers and staff focus on things that really matter, like learning and having fun.”

These investments in student safety are part of the Province’s work to accelerate the Seismic Mitigation Program and provide seismically safe schools for every B.C. student as quickly as possible.

Since September 2017, the Province has announced more than $1.1 billion for seismic upgrades or replacements at 56 B.C. schools. This gives more than 30,000 students a safer place to learn, with more to come.

“Each school that receives these improvements means hundreds of young lives will be protected in the event of an earthquake,” said Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers. “The people in our community deserve this level of protection for their children, and that’s why our government is moving so quickly to better protect students and staff during a seismic event.”

In Surrey, nearly $450 million has been invested in 26 major projects over the past four years. This includes new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and land purchases for future schools that will support students now and for years to come.

Laurie Larsen, Chair, Surrey Board of Education, said: “The health and safety of our staff and students is always our first priority. We are very grateful for this investment. These seismic upgrades will ensure both schools can continue being safe learning environments for our communities.”

Lakhbir Johal, President, Surrey District Parent Advisory Council, said: “This is exciting and welcome news for both parents and students. All of our schools should be safe environments in the event of an emergency. We are eager for the work to be started and hope other schools that require seismic upgrades will be looked at as well.”