The province announced a $7.92-million seismic upgrade and four new classrooms for Keating Elementary School in Central Saanich Friday.
The expansion will be funded in part by a $343,000 contribution from the Saanich School District.
“On behalf of the Saanich Board of Education, I would like to express our appreciation for this most welcome decision,” said Victoria Martin, chair of School District 63. “This investment will ensure that Keating Elementary is safe and will have the capacity needed to serve the community for years to come.”
The existing structure was built in the early 1960s, with renovations in 1965, 1969, 1992 and 2010.
One part of the school does not meet the Province’s seismic building requirements, and will be upgraded.
Four new classrooms will be built for use during construction instead of portables, and will then accommodate students in the long term.
There are currently 411 students attending the school in Central Saanich, with over 70 per cent in French Immersion.
Projections indicate that Keating’s enrolment will increase slightly and consistently over the next 10 years.
This addition will give the elementary school 100 more student spaces.
“Keating staff, parents and students are very grateful for the much-needed renewal and modernization of our school,” said Mary Lynn Heron, principal of Keating Elementary. “The Keating seismic upgrade not only ensures student and staff safety, but it provides us with much-needed space for our projected growth.”
Construction on the school is expected to begin this July, with completion set for March 2020.
“The safety of students and staff is a key commitment of our government. All parents need to know their kids are going to school in a safe environment,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming. ”
Eight of SD63’s 10 seismic upgrades are complete.
After Keating, there is only one school in the Saanich School District left to be upgraded.