Students will be returning to a seismically upgraded and expanded Victoria High School in September 2023. Due to challenges arising from the pandemic and scope of the project, the construction completion date has been extended from September 2022 to September 2023.
Unexpected site and building conditions due to the age of the school have also led to additional renovation and upgrades, such as installing temporary supports required for construction.
“There have been several challenges over the past year that have extended the seismic project’s timeline, including labour and material pressures due to COVID-19 and a building boom in Victoria”, said Superintendent Shelley Green. “We expected there to be a few surprises when we started opening the walls of a school built over a century ago but we did not anticipate the market pressures on resources and labour availability.”
The Province is providing $77.1 million for the seismic improvements, a 200-seat expansion and preservation of the iconic landmark located at 1260 Grant St. The District is contributing $2.6 million to the capital project. Exterior elements, such as terracotta, granite and brick masonry, are being retained. Interior features, including the marble and stained glass in the main entrance and lobby, and the painted wooden panels and stained glass in the auditorium, are also being preserved.
Victoria High students are currently re-located at the former SJ Willis school site at 923 Topaz Avenue. Students will remain there until June 2023. Staff and students will transition into the new seismically safe school in September 2023.