Shortreed Community Elementary. (Langley School District/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Shortreed Community Elementary. (Langley School District/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Kids will learn in portables while Shortreed gets $8.9 million seismic upgrade

The two-year project begins in September

Construction starts in September on $8.9 million in seismic upgrades for Aldergrove’s Shortreed Community Elementary, the province has announced.

The project is expected to be complete in early 2023. Students will remain on site in portables while the work is underway.

“Parents want to be able to send their child to school and not have to worry about their safety,” said Amy Synesael, president, Shortreed Community Elementary’s parent advisory council (PAC). “We know this project will benefit our students and future generations in our growing community.”

“All parents and families deserve to send their children to school with the comfort of knowing that if an earthquake hits, students will be protected,” said Jennifer Whiteside, B.C.’s Minister of Education.

“Langley families strongly support projects that increase the safety of our district schools,” said Megan Dykeman, the NDP MLA for Langley East and, until a few weeks ago, chair of the Langley Board of Education. “This important seismic upgrade of Shortreed Community Elementary school will further protect students in the event of an earthquake.”

“Health and safety of students and staff is a top priority in our district,” said Rod Ross, chair, Langley School District Board of Education. “As a board, we continue to advocate for safe learning environments to help us fulfill our mission to inspire all learners to reach their full potential and create a positive legacy for the future.”

Shortreed was built in 1978 and was expanded in 1981 and again in 1999.

The upgrades are aimed at the original portion of the school and the 1981 expansion, which consists of the gym and two blocks of classrooms.

The Seismic Mitigation Program has announced upgrades or replacements at 52 high-risk schools in B.C., providing a safer place to learn for nearly 30,000 students to date.

Since September 2017, the province has approved $1 billion for seismic upgrades and replacements.