Delays and labour shortages mean the expected occupancy date for the upgraded and expanded Vic High is being pushed back four months.
The school was previously expected to be open for students in September 2023, but now the Greater Victoria School District (SD 61) says it should be open in January 2024.
The occupancy delays are also partially due to extra renovation and upgrades being needed because of unexpected site and building conditions due to the age of Vic High.
“Given that the school is over 100 years old, this project has been very complex,” Deb Whitten, the district’s superintendent, said in a news release.
“Since construction started in 2020, there have been several challenges along the way, including the requirement of additional temporary supports for construction and market pressures on resources and labour availability that arose with the pandemic.”
Whitten says while construction is expected to be done in fall 2023, they are allowing time for the transition to take place to minimize disruption to students.
“As a result, the move will be facilitated during the winter break to set all staff and students up for a successful start-up in the seismically upgraded school,” Whitten said.
The provincial government has contributed $77.1 million for seismic improvements, a 200-seat expansion and preservation of the landmark. The school district is paying $2.6 million.
Work is being done to ensure the exterior terracotta, granite and brick masonry and interior features like the marble and stained glass in the main entrance and lobby, and the painted wooden panels and stained glass in the auditorium are retained and preserved.
Improvements to the school include new windows and floors, updates to the stage, a new multi-purpose room, heating system, library commons area, and environmentally friendly lighting through the school.
Outside, the school is planting 78 new trees, building a new observatory deck, improving lighting for the building and field, and installing additional bike parking and more accessible pathways. There will also be new turf fields and sand volleyball courts added to the property.