The BC Seismic Mitigation Program ranks Craigflower Elementary and Shoreline Middle School as “High Risk” and in need of upgrades. (Black Press Media file photo)

The BC Seismic Mitigation Program ranks Craigflower Elementary and Shoreline Middle School as “High Risk” and in need of upgrades. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria school district seeks input on possible closure of Craigflower Elementary

Online community consultation to be held Jan. 21

The Greater Victoria School District (SD61) is seeking community input after determining Craigflower Elementary and Shoreline Middle School both require seismic upgrades.

All Greater Victoria schools were assessed in 2018 to determine if, and to what extent, they needed upgrades. Both Craigflower and Shoreline were ranked as High 1 – the most extreme end of the scale – with a greater than 10 per cent “risk to life safety.” High 1 schools have the most vulnerable structure, are at the greatest risk of widespread damage or structural failure and would not be repairable after a damaging event. Thirteen other SD61 schools have also been given this ranking.

Four “seismic options” are being considered for Craigflower and Shoreline.

One possibility, submitted to the Ministry of Education by SD61 in 2020, suggests closing Craigflower and moving its students to Shoreline, which would accordingly become a K-8 school. This suggestion is backed by the fact that both schools are currently operating at under capacity. Craigflower, which has a capacity of 219 students, has 117 enrolled, and Shoreline, which has a capacity of 425 students, has 300 enrolled. The district also noted that the two schools are only 650 metres apart – approximately a two minute drive or eight minute walk. An upgrade and expansion of Shoreline would cost an estimated $47 million.

RELATED: Campus View Elementary undergoes $4.2 million in seismic upgrades

Three other options include upgrading both schools ($54 million), only upgrading Shoreline ($30 million) and only upgrading Craigflower ($24 million).

Members of the community are encouraged to take part in an online open house and consultation on Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. and share their opinions in a survey, available until Jan. 29.

More information and a link to the survey can be found at sd61.bc.ca.

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