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Tomsett Seismic Upgrade and Expansion Plans
More classrooms and a seismically safer school will give F.A. Tomsett Elementary students a better learning experience by 2022.
“We are continuing to accelerate seismic safety projects in Richmond at a record pace, so more students can be in a safer school as soon as possible,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “When this project is complete, families with children at Tomsett will have the comfort of knowing their children will be better protected if an earthquake were to hit.”
The Government of British Columbia is providing up to $7.71 million for seismic upgrades at Tomsett, with the Richmond School District providing $3.67 million for a total budget of $11.38 million. The district’s contribution allows for a 95-seat addition at the school, which will ease crowding and prevent the use of portables.
Construction is expected to begin in summer 2020. The addition will be built first to accommodate students while the seismic upgrade work is underway, allowing for a phased approach to construction. This means students will not need to move off-site and will be in a safer school faster. The project is expected to be complete in early 2022.
“We are extremely pleased to be receiving funding from the Ministry of Education to seismically upgrade Tomsett Elementary,” said Ken Hamaguchi, chair, Richmond School Board. “The Richmond Board of Education is committed to working with the ministry and, as such, will be providing funds for the expansion of the school to accommodate anticipated growth in the city centre area.”
The Province is working to clear the backlog of needed seismic upgrades throughout Richmond. Six seismic upgrades have been approved since September 2017 at a total value of $62.4 million, creating 3,045 seismically safe seats.
In less than two years, the Province has approved more than $636 million for seismic upgrade projects at 34 schools throughout B.C. to create 20,431 safe seats for students.
Budget 2019 provides a record $2.7 billion for school capital investments, including $791 million to continue accelerating the Seismic Mitigation Program so all B.C. students can be in a seismically safe school as soon as possible.
During the school year, construction has continued to move forward at a steady pace. Our addition should be ready for occupancy in September 2021 - just in time for our classrooms in the older part of our school to move in, and for seismic upgrading to continue in these areas. In addition, the construction on our new preschool (separate building just to the east of the new addition) has also begun. In the last few days of June, teachers and students will be helping to pack up classrooms so that they can be moved over the summer. When children return in September, the old wing of the school (west wing) will be closed off. These classes (Mrs. Flewelling, Mrs. Dodds, Mr. Kripps, Mrs. Lang, Mrs. Leung will be in the new addition. Currently, our library shelves are being installed and Mrs. Parvez has been working long hours to get the library put back together. Thank you to her and the students who have been helping her.