Hundreds of students in Richmond will be better protected from the effects of an earthquake, with seismic mitigation approved for Mitchell Elementary school.

“We’re making tremendous progress on seismic safety in Richmond, and I’m excited to keep that momentum going,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “With this announcement, we have now approved more than $1 billion for seismic upgrades, new and expanded schools, and land purchases for future schools, so we can give B.C. students the best educational experience possible.”

The Ministry of Education is providing the Richmond School District with $11.4 million for the project, which involves a partial replacement of the school’s original block.

Construction on Mitchell Elementary is expected to begin in fall 2019 and be completed in spring 2021. Students will be able to remain on-site throughout the project and the child care programs on the site will be maintained.

“We are very pleased to be receiving funding from the Ministry of Education to seismically upgrade Mitchell Elementary school,” said Scott Robinson, superintendent of Richmond School District. “Today’s announcement ensures that staff and students at Mitchell Elementary will have a safe learning environment that supports their educational journey. As we move forward, the Richmond School District remains committed to working with the ministry to improve the safety of the facilities within our school community.”

This announcement marks over $1 billion in approved school capital projects by the Ministry of Education since September 2017. This includes 5,625 new student spaces at new and expanded schools, 18,300 seismically safe seats at 29 schools and six land purchases for future schools throughout B.C.

“We have accelerated projects that provide better schools for our students, and families are finally seeing what real investment in B.C. education looks like,” Fleming said. “Our new budget includes a record $2.7 billion for school capital projects, so we can keep building and improving more schools throughout the province.”

With this announcement, the Province has invested $38.2 million in seismic upgrades at four Richmond schools since September 2017, creating 2,415 safer seats in the district. Other schools that have received upgrades are Hugh Boyd Secondary, Robert Tait Elementary and W.D. Ferris Elementary. Six more seismic projects are under business case development.

Government is committed to giving every B.C. student a seismically safe place to go to school. Budget 2019 includes an additional $250 million to accelerate the Seismic Mitigation Program for a total of $791 million over three years.

Quick Facts:

  • Mitchell Elementary is a kindergarten-to-Grade 7 school in Richmond’s East Cambie neighbourhood.
  • The school was built in 1960 with additions in 1964, 1975 and 1991.
  • A 2017 seismic identification report found most of the school to be at a high risk of damage in an earthquake.
  • Of the 28 high-risk schools in Richmond, three have been upgraded, while five are under construction or proceeding to construction.