The BC government announced on Tuesday that it is providing $79.3 million to fully replace Eric Hamber Secondary, making it the largest seismic project in the city’s history.
“Vancouver students and their families have been waiting for schools that will be safe in the event of an earthquake,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming.
The announcement, he added, “moves us one step closer to achieving our goal of ensuring all British Columbian students can receive a quality education in a state-of-the-art, safe and healthy school.”
Eric Hamber Secondary serves 1,700 students in grades 8 to 12.
It opened in 1962 and has had several additions and renovations over the years. However, the structure needs further upgrading and has been deemed high risk in the event of an earthquake.
The new school will be built next to the existing one on the northwest corner of the site. Students will remain in the existing school during construction, which will prevent the need for portables.
“As the 2018-19 school year draws to a close, we’re delighted with today’s announcement,” said Vancouver School Board chair Janet Fraser.
The new school will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold standards.
LEED gold schools include sustainable low-toxic materials, natural light, abundant fresh air, energy conservation, habitat protection and reduced demand on local landfills. The new school will also accommodate a child care facility.
Construction is slated to begin in summer 2020, and the new Eric Hamber Secondary is expected to welcome students in fall 2022.