Seismic upgrades coming to better protect Vanguard students

May 4, 2021

– BC Government News, May 4, 2021

A unique school in Langley dedicated to students whose needs are better supported in a non-traditional setting will soon be better equipped if there is an earthquake, with seismic upgrades coming to Vanguard Secondary school.

“Countless students have and will continue to benefit from life-changing experiences and innovative programs at Vanguard Secondary, and it’s critically important to maintain and upgrade the school,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “That’s why we’re taking action to invest in seismic upgrades that provide new, modern classrooms, while ensuring all students and staff are safe at school.”

The Government of B.C. is providing $3.8 million for seismic upgrades at Vanguard Secondary, which are scheduled to be complete by March 2023. The project will see the two-storey classroom building replaced with new classrooms attached to the main building of the school.

“With the health and safety of students and staff a priority in our district, our board continues to advocate for safe learning spaces in our schools,” said Rod Ross, chair, Langley Board of Education. “We believe these seismic upgrades will ensure the Vanguard school community can focus on therapy and education and not have to worry about safety.”

Vanguard provides both long- and short-term therapeutic interventions for students throughout the Langley School District who require personalized support. The school offers a unique curriculum designed for students with developmental and generational traumas and post-traumatic effects.

“We welcome this project and believe it will increase learning opportunities and create additional safe spaces,” said Patrick Thomas, principal, Vanguard Secondary. “This will help support our students and staff as they work together to overcome challenges and build resiliency.”

While attending Vanguard, students are assigned a family support worker and school counsellor to help achieve their therapeutic goals and create a transition plan back to their community school.

“Vanguard Secondary plays such an important role in the lives of so many students and families in our community,” said Megan Dykeman, MLA for Langley East. “I am so thrilled to know this school will soon be improved for its students, and I am grateful for all of the work happening in our schools, which will continue to benefit people in Langley.”

The upgrade of Vanguard Secondary is part of the Province’s work to improve schools in communities throughout B.C. This includes more than $2.3 billion invested provincewide and $63.7 million in Langley in less than four years.

It also includes funding for a site and new elementary school in the southwestern Yorkson neighbourhood, seismic upgrades at Shortreed Elementary and a site purchase for a future school in the Latimer neighbourhood.

To support this momentum, Budget 2021 includes nearly $3.5 billion for school capital investments including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and site purchases to ensure land is in place to accommodate growth in fast-growing communities throughout the province.

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