The Burnaby school board has hired an architect to design seismic projects at two local schools.
Thinkspace Architecture Planning Interior Design, a Surrey-headquartered firm, will take on architectural and design work for a $24-million partial replacement of Alpha Secondary School and a $3.3-million seismic upgrade at Montecito Elementary School.
The Alpha project will increase student capacity at the north Burnaby high school from 1,025 to 1,100 with the replacement of the school’s three-storey and one-storey classroom wings and will include seismic upgrades to the rest of the building.
The Montecito project includes seismic upgrades and the addition of four classrooms that will increase the school’s student capacity from 215 to 315 and allow it to get rid of three temporary portables that have been there since 1997.
The district originally anticipated prep work on both projects might begin as early as May or June, but secretary-treasurer Greg Frank said this week that that is now unlikely.
“The timelines originally announced were preliminary only and the actual timelines will depend on the completed detailed design, planned phasing options for each of these projects, timeliness for building permit(s) issuance and construction contractor tender awards,” he said in an email to the NOW.
Two other seismic projects approved in principle by the education ministry in April 2013 – Burnaby North Secondary and Stride Avenue Elementary – are still in the planning stages with no firm timelines yet in place.
Fourteen Burnaby schools are still operating under high-risk ratings assessed by the ministry of education’s seismic mitigation program. Four have been assigned High 1 ratings, meaning they are at highest risk of widespread damage or structural failure, not reparable after an earthquake. One is rated High 2, at high risk of widespread damage or structural failure, likely not reparable after a quake, and nine are rated High 3, meaning isolated failure to building elements such as walls are expected and the building will likely not be reparable after an earthquake.
- Alpha Secondary – High 1
- Burnaby North – High 1
- Montecito Elementary – High 1
- Stride Avenue Elementary – High 1
- Glenwood Elementary –High 2
- Moscrop Secondary –High 3
- Cascade Heights Elementary – High 3
- Kitchener Elementary – High 3
- Marlborough Elementary – High 3
- Maywood Elementary – High 3
- Parkcrest Elementary – High 3
- Rosser Elementary – High 3
- Seaforth Elementary – High 3
- Stoney Creek Elementary – High 3
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Thinkspace had been awarded $27 million in seismic mitigation work on two projects. The firm was only awarded the architectural design work, worth a total of about $1.8 million, for the projects.