The Ministry of Education and the Sooke School District (SD62) have signed a project agreement that will see Dunsmuir middle school receive $10.2 million in seismic upgrades.
The work will involve reinforcing masonry walls, constructing new concrete shear walls and foundations and upgrading roof components.
These improvements will add to previous upgrades done to strengthen the gym and shop areas, as well as the sprinkler system. Access to the school off Benhomer Drive will also be widened and extended.
The project is being funded with $9.4 million from the province’s Seismic Mitigation Program and $800,000 from SD62.
“We’re always thrilled to receive funding,” district board chair Wendy Hobbs said, “especially when it comes to providing safer spaces for our staff and students.”
While the district will attempt to keep disruptions to a minimum, she added, the students and staff will be using a system of portables and modular units in the school’s playing field for much of next school year.
“It’s going to be a really interesting year for our staff and students,” Hobbs said. “It’s not an ideal situation (learning in temporary facilities), but it’s what needs to be done short-term to create a place that’s safe for everyone long-term, so we’ll make the best of it. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.”
The work, due to start soon after school lets out, is scheduled to be done by December, 2016.