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Seismic upgrades proceeding at Cilaire Elementary in Nanaimo

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning work will be done concurrently
Work aimed at mitigating seismic risk, and to improve air quality, is set to begin in June for Cilaire Elementary School in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)

Plans are proceeding to fortify Cilaire Elementary School from earthquakes, says Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district.

The B.C. Ministry of Education announced last June that it would provide about $19 million for seismic upgrades for both Cilaire and Pleasant Valley schools. In a press release, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools said work at Cilaire will begin this June, along with work to upgrade heating, ventilation and air conditioning at the school.

In order to be in line with the school district draft long-range facilities plan and minimize learning disruption, upgrading the HVAC system is taking place concurrent with the seismic work, said the school district.

The upgrade includes replacing boilers and mechanical ventilation. Ventilators will be installed in classrooms and the library, and a central air-handling unit will be installed in the school gym.

“The installation of the new ventilation equipment will allow the district to design the new system to operate with lower temperature water, so the boilers will always run at maximum efficiency,” the release noted.

In the press release, Charlene McKay, school board chairperson, said the work at Cilaire is a positive example of collaboration between SD68 staff and the ministry.

“We heard clearly from our school community that this upgrade was important, and the board is very pleased to see the [ministry] financially support this HVAC upgrade in addition to the seismic project,” McKay said.

Carrie Wood, school principal, echoed McKay’s sentiments and said parents, staff and students were excited to hear that the upgrades are coming.

“The real impact will be realized once the students and staff return to Cilaire for the 2022-2023 school year,” Wood said.

RELATED: B.C. gov’t provides $19M for seismic upgrades at Nanaimo schools

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