Students, teachers and staff at Eric Hamber Secondary school will soon have a new, safer learning environment.

Work is underway on the largest seismic school replacement project in Vancouver’s history.

“As we push toward a future that is more innovative, sustainable and inclusive, I am thrilled to see our values reflected in learning spaces like the new Hamber Secondary school,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “Along with seismic safety, the energy-efficient design, beautiful auditorium and child care spaces included in this project are part of how we are building care and wellness into education.”

The Government of B.C. is funding $94.1 million of the $105.9 million required to replace the school. The new build will offer a safer learning environment for up to 1,700 students in the event of an earthquake, while contributing to a more sustainable future by meeting LEED gold standards. LEED gold buildings offer healthy, high-performance environments with natural light, abundant fresh air and sustainable materials and practices.

“It remains a priority of the board to ensure all students attend seismically safe schools as quickly as possible, and we are delighted the start of construction at Hamber Secondary brings us one step closer to that goal,” said Carmen Cho, board chair, Vancouver School District. “The new school will meet today’s standards for modern learning and will include spaces that create opportunities for collaborative interaction for students.”

The building will offer more opportunities for community activities, thanks to the addition of an auditorium and child care facility with nearly 70 licensed spaces. Funding will be provided by the Province, the Vancouver School Board and the City of Vancouver.

“Improving access to child care in cities like Vancouver is key to making life better for busy families,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Providing child care on school grounds makes it easier to create more child spaces close to public transit and major walkways in communities where space is at a premium.”

Kennedy Stewart, mayor of Vancouver, said: "The creation of 69 new child care spaces at Eric Hamber Secondary school will be the latest achievement in the city’s ongoing partnership with the Vancouver School Board and the Province to create more quality child care options. By co-locating affordable and inclusive child care facilities within schools such as this, we are able to support busy families, create walkable communities and ensure that Vancouver is a city that works for everyone.”

This investment in student safety is part of Province’s work to accelerate the Seismic Mitigation Program, to ensure every B.C. student can attend a seismically safe school as soon as possible.

Since September 2017, the Province has announced over $1.1 billion for seismic upgrades or replacements at 55 B.C. schools, giving more than 30,000 students a safer place to learn, with more to come. This includes nearly $325 million to upgrade or replace 12 schools in Vancouver.

Learn More:

Vancouver School District: https://www.vsb.bc.ca/Pages/default.aspx 

The Ministry of Education’s Seismic Mitigation Program: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=14848EBBEF10466D8C70DAAE25B4A1D4  

For more information on Childcare BC, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/support-for-bc-families-and-early-childhood-educators