Vic High School welcomes students again after 4 years of renovations, seismic upgrades

Victoria High School reopens after four years of renovations and upgrades.

Students were welcomed back to the Fernwood neighbourhood Monday morning as Vic High School reopened after four years of renovations.

“I’ve never actually been to this school, it’s so nice,” Helena Ramos, a Vic High School student said.

Vic High has been undergoing renovations and upgrades since 2020, with students attending classes at S.J. Willis in the meantime.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Vic High reopening delayed due to ‘interior work’ delay

The provincial government has contributed $77.1 million for seismic improvements, a 200-seat expansion and preservation of the landmark.

“I’m really excited.” Brooklyn McMorran, a Vic High student said. “The other campus was quite small so it wasn’t the best. This school is definitely a lot bigger so I’m excited to be in a bigger school.”

Along with the expansion and seismic upgrades, students Monday morning were touting some other impressive improvements.

Ramos said the library was all glass and some areas of the school have heated floors.

Briar Sweenypopoff said “there’s a bunch of studying places, there’s a balcony we can go on and we have turf [field] now for all the sports.”

Businesses in the neighbourhood told CHEK News their excited to have students return to Fernwood.

Miroslaw Gwiazda, manager at The Fernwood Pizza Company, said the students were missed over the last four years.

“It’s really going to bring in a lot more to the neighbourhood,” Gwiazda said.

On Friday the pizza company made 125 pies, or about 1,000 slices, for the student’s orientation day.

“That was kind of a nice welcome to the neighbourhood and we hope that will bring people in as I’m sure they enjoyed the pizza,” Gwiazda added.

Around the corner, the Fernwood General Store said it can’t wait to see business pick up in the area with more people enjoying Fernwood, making it vibrant again.

Over the lunch hour Monday, the line up at Little June cafe was out the door as students bought lunch.

“We are very excited to have the students back in the area,” Taisa Padovin, with Little June said. “We are excited to see how busy it’s going to get.”

Vic High is two years away from its 150 anniversary, with many hoping the newly finished upgrades will allow it to keep welcoming students for years to come.

Mackenzie Read

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