Construction has begun on Eric Hamber Secondary school, 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 15,000 square metre building 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,” 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 with 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.
“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,” said Mayor of Vancouver Kennedy Stewart.
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. This will prevent the need for portables and minimize disruption, like bussing Eric Hamber students.