The BC government has announced that a new, larger and seismically safe facility is in the works to replace Cedar Hill Middle School in Saanich.
According to a release issued on Monday, the government will be investing $42.9 million for the low-carbon, seismic replacement of Cedar Hill Middle school, which is aiming to be safer and more environmentally friendly than the current building. In addition, the Greater Victoria School District will be contributing $3.6 million to meet the total project cost.
The new facility, which will include a new neighbourhood learning centre, is slated to be completed by January 2025.
“Schools are so much more than buildings; they are vital community hubs for children and families. The new Cedar Hill Middle school will soon reflect the modern, dynamic community it serves,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “And by lowering the carbon footprint of this school and raising community engagement, we are creating learning spaces that encourage academic development, as well as social and emotional well-being.”
The new school for families in the Cedar Hill neighbourhood will be designed and constructed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says the government, with more efficient heat pumps, displacement ventilation in classrooms, and a variable volume shop-dust collector. The government adds that the new temperature and air systems will use renewable BC Hydro energy in an effort to minimize the use of natural gas.
In total, Cedar Hill Middle School will have 575 seats for students once the project is completed and the facility will offer both English and French immersion programs. There will be a community programs space available as well through the learning centre and the district intends on consulting with families to determine what future programs could be offered, whether it be child care, cultural or other.
“We are delighted to be moving forward with a vibrant new Cedar Hill Middle school that is seismically safe, provides community amenities, and can accommodate a growing population,” said Jordan Watters, board chair, Greater Victoria School District. “We have a vision to invest in the possibility of a net-zero building in our district and view this as a critical step in meeting our climate action goals and setting a higher standard for seismic projects in our district.”
For more information about Cedar Hill Middle School, visit: https://cedarhill.sd61.bc.ca/