WATCH: The Ministry of Education gives Bayside Middle School a new $7.1-million roof, as it cancels Shoreline Middle School’s seismic upgrades. Monica Martinez reports.
The leaky roof at Brentwood Bay’s Bayside Middle School will be replaced thanks to $6.1-million in provincial funding.
“We need to ensure we have safe school environments and buildings for our students,” said Education Minister Mike Bernier.
And while the Ministry of Education is giving one school a new roof, it’s cancelling seismic upgrades for another.
View Royal’s Shoreline Middle School was next on the list for the seismic upgrades, due to take place next school year, but last week parents found out those safety upgrades would not be happening.
“Parents are very deeply concerned about the change in decision. It doesn’t really make sense. They are making a decision based on capacity as opposed to risk of the school,” said Edwin Hubert, Shoreline PAC Treasurer.
Shoreline has the highest seismic structural risk rating, meaning life safety is greater than 10 per cent, but with 250 students its enrollment is at about 65 per cent. And that’s the reason the ministry is putting other schools first.
“We want to make sure all the schools that need to be seismically upgraded are, but we’ve asked the school district to focus on ones that are over capacity right now as we go do down the list,” said Bernier.
But it’s a catch 22 said one parent, as the school built in the 1960’s is in desperate need of a face lift.
“Part of the capacity issue is that kids are going to other schools that have been recently upgraded and that is pulling kids away from Shoreline,” said Hubert.
Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association Acting President Jason Gammon said the priority should be to fix as many schools as they can as quickly as possible.
“If a school is at risk, especially in that category, regardless of their capacity it should be fixed because you are putting the people in that building at risk, not just students but teachers, community members, everybody,” Gammon said.
The district said the upgrades are on hold, but it’s not clear how long Shoreline will have to wait for its turn.