Pleasant Valley Elementary is now seismically safe after a $7.8 million upgrade.
Yesterday, students, parents, and staff were invited to attend a celebration of the new upgrades and to listen to Snaw-Naw-As and Snuneymuxw First Nation speakers.
The Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public School system says the money was spent on seismic upgrades, new flooring and HVAC in the gym, fire alarms, the building envelope, water lines and more.
MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, Adam Walker, spoke at the celebration regarding the upgrades.
“Over the last five years, we’ve made incredible progress in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district to renovate, retrofit, and expand multiple schools. The Pleasant Valley retrofit here was $7.8 million to provide three hundred safe spaces for students,” said Walker. “We’ve also seen recent expansions at Dover Bay Secondary School and seismic upgrades to Cilaire Elementary and we’re going to continue the work of making sure students who go to school in our school district have a safe place to learn.”
There are potential future plans for other Nanaimo schools to get the same kind of upgrade.
“We know from discussions with the school board that they have future capital asks, we know that NDSS is needing some expansion and some upgrades,” said Walker. “We’re going to continue the work with the school board to continue this good work of making sure students have a safe place to learn.”
The celebration was capped off with the unveiling of a large blanket. It was woven from multiple different wools collected both on the island and mainland, and is considered a great honor. Snuneymuxw Elder Stephanie Thomas wove it.
It was blessed with the help of Gary Manson and various others before being unveiled. He said the hope is that it would remain in the school for the next hundred years. His full speech and blessing process is available here.
“I’m proud of the work we’re doing in Vancouver and throughout B.C. to invest in seismically safer learning environments for students,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education and Child Care.
In the federal budget for 2022, $3.1 billion is for school capital investments that ‘provide a better place for students to learn.’