After coming into some extra funds, School District 61 are asking the public to help craft a Christmas wish list for Victoria High School.
Thanks to a newly approved land swap with the Capital Regional Housing Corporation, SD61 has an extra $1.5 to $1.7 million dollars to spend on amenities for Vic High while the school undergoes renovations in 2020.
In June 2019, the B.C. Ministry of Education approved $77.1 million of funding for seismic upgrades to the school, which is considered a top priority for the province.
Construction on those upgrades is scheduled to begin in August 2020, but now, with the extra money received from the land swap, the school district is reaching out to the public to see how else the school can be improved.
The district has created an online survey for how the additional millions should be spent, though they do caution that not all ideas can be considered.
“The District must prioritize and identify what is considered a ‘should have’ vs. a ‘nice to have’, when moving forward with the allotted funding,” the survey reads.
Instead, the district asks the survey-taker to rank the importance of upgraded facilities like the school’s track field, the stadium, and the auditorium.
The district also notes that work is already confirmed on environmentally friendly upgrades, inclusivity changes like accessibility ramps and non-sensory rooms, and new spaces to honour Indigenous and Chinese Canadian heritage.
The seismic upgrades will include structural renovations to wiring, mechanical, plumbing, and heating infrastructure within the school.
“Interior features, including the marble and art glass in the main entrance and lobby, and the painted wood panels and art glass in the auditorium/balcony, will also be preserved,” the district’s statement reads. “Exterior elements, such as terracotta, granite and brick masonry, will also be restored.”
Students of Victoria High School will be relocated to S.J. Willis School while changes are underway. S.J. Willis will also be renovated as part of the original $77.1 million plan.
“Our goal is to have students and staff returning to a safer and enhanced school as soon as possible,” says Superintendent Shelley Green in a statement on the school district’s website. “We want to thank our families in advance as we facilitate this complex transition.”
Click here to take the survey, which is open to all Victoria residents.