Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)

Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

Some might consider it a scheduling shift of seismic proportions.

The Greater Victoria School District (SD61) announced Monday (June 14) that completion of the expansion and seismic upgrades at Victoria High School has been delayed by a year.

Due to challenges arising from the pandemic and the scope of the project, completion of the work is now scheduled for September 2023 instead of the previous target of September 2022.

“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,” Lisa McPhail, communications and community engagement for SD61, said in a release.

District superintendent Shelley Green said several challenges over the past year have extended the seismic project’s timeline, including labour and material pressures due to COVID-19, and a building boom in Victoria.

RELATED STORY: SD61 budget approved, majority of music programs saved

“We expected 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,” Green stated.

The provincial government is providing $77.1 million for the seismic improvements, a 200-seat expansion and preservation of the school at 1260 Grant. St., while SD61 is providing $2.6 million.

Work involves retaining exterior features such as terracotta, granite, and brick masonry, as well as interior elements, including some of the marble and stained glass, and painted wooden panels in the main entrance, lobby and auditorium.

Students have been relocated to the former SJ Willis school on Topaz Avenue and will remain there until June 2023 before transitioning back to Victoria High School in September 2023.

Visit sd61.bc.ca for more information on the Greater Victoria School District.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Greater Victoria School DistrictSchool constructionVic High