Seismic upgrades coming to Nanaimo elementary school this summer

Seismic upgrades coming to Nanaimo elementary school this summer

Significant seismic upgrades are slated to begin at a Nanaimo elementary school this summer after nearly $11 million in provincial funding has been confirmed.

Construction at Cilaire Elementary School is set to start in June 2021.

During the construction process for seismic upgrades, Cilaire Elementary will also receive an upgrade to its HVAC system, having secured an additional $1 million in funding to ensure the school will have clean air throughout — a project that aligns with the district’s Draft Long Range Facilities Plan.

“The Cilaire project is a positive example of how our senior staff work collaboratively with the Ministry of Education to enhance capital projects by including priority updates where possible,” said Board Chair Charlene McKay.  “We heard clearly from our school community that this upgrade was important, and the Board is very pleased to see the Ministry of Education financially support this HVAC upgrade in addition to the seismic project.”

As far as the HVAC system upgrades go, construction will include replacing boilers and mechanical ventilation as well as installing ventilators in classrooms and the library. A central air-handling unit will be also installed in the school’s gymnasium.

“Parents, staff and students were excited to learn of the planned upgrade.  The real impact will be realized once the students and staff return to Cilaire for the 2022-2023 school year,” added Principal Carie Wood.

The school says the new ventilation equipment will enable the district to design a new system that operates with lower temperature water, “so the boilers will always run at maximum efficiency.”

A byproduct of the new system will also allow for improved temperature control within the building, according to the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District. This is something that can help reduce the building’s energy consumption.

The seismic upgrades will require students to remain out of the Nanaimo facility for the entire 2021-2022 school year, returning in September of 2022.


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