Ladner school upgrades urged
A group of former Delta Secondary grads are hoping to help get their old high school spruced up on the exterior—and more importantly structurally on the inside—in time for its centenary celebrations in 2012.
The oldest portion of the current building on the Ladner site was constructed in 1960 and is in need of seismic upgrades and thought to be near the top of B.C.'s Ministry of Education's list to make the province's schools more earthquake resistant.
The DSS Alumni Association had offered to foot the bill for repainting the school's exterior to mark its 100th birthday, but due to redundancy expenditure regulations that cannot be done until the seismic upgrades are completed.
So, to help move that process along alumni association member Mark Bader, who is the group's Project & Committee Manager, presented a letter to Delta South independent MLA Vicki Huntington on Monday (April 4).
Bader said he hoped the request would fall on favourable ears at the ministry because it fits in with the themes in Premier Christy Clark's Family First initiatives.
Huntington said she thought the idea had merit and promised to forward the request that the work be done sooner than later to education minister George Abbott.
Huntington said she would emphasise the fact a community group is willing to partner with the district to pay for part of the school's upgrades with the offer of painting the exterior.
But the likelihood to get the work done in time for the centenary festivities is rather slim, according to Frank Geyer, Director of Facilities & Planning with the Delta School District.
Geyer said the scope of the project is quite large and would cost around $8 million.
Work would also take about two years to complete.
"The blocks of the building in need of seismic upgrading are (in the) mechanic and woodwork shops, library and theatre," Geyer said via email. "Total estimated project cost is $8 million and the expected duration of construction is two years."
A portion of that time line is taken up by renovation planning. No complications, such as removing any potentially hazardous materials such as asbestos is anticipated.
As for exactly where the building is on the priority list for the upgrades, Geyer wasn't sure.
"DSS, along with SDSS (South Delta Secondary school), are on the top of our seismic upgrade list as filed with the Ministry of Education, but no information has been released as to the provincial priority list and when we can expect to see project approvals," he said.