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Western Canada’s oldest school opens to neighbours after $80M in upgrades

Vic High hosts a community open house Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Vic High staff and students welcome the public to a community open house on Sunday (May 26) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Neighbours can get peek in the newly renovated historic Vic High with an open house this weekend.

Knowledgeable, enthusiastic students will host stations around the city’s only high school, sharing highlights of its recent seismic upgrade and expansion of its 1260 Grant St. location.

Vic High was founded in 1876 on the grounds of the current Central Middle School and is the oldest public high school west of Manitoba. On April 20, 1914, then-principal Samuel J. Willis led students to the current site at Grant and Fernwood.

As the high school saw an $80-million seismic upgrade and 200-seat expansion.

Students returned to the school earlier this year after several construction delays – adding up to well over a year later than anticipated – primarily blamed on demand in the industry.

VIDEO: A look inside Vic High construction

Black and Gold, New and Old is the theme of the upgrade, which saw Vic High’s footprint expanded to include a new student entry off Fernwood Road near Vining Street, a contemporary learning commons, and the only astronomy viewing deck in the Greater Victoria School District. A new Neighbourhood Learning Centre is also part of the expansion, which shares a spacious multipurpose room with the school and includes meeting rooms and a kitchen.

Volleyball on new sand courts and performances by Vic High students are planned for the Sunday open house.

A cash only food concession will be available, and the Vic High Archives and Museum, funded and managed by the Vic High Alumni Association, will be open.

The community open house is Sunday (May 26) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Parking is available off of Grant Street and Gladstone Avenue.

RELATED: Victoria High reopens, welcomes students after 4 years of renovations