News

Legislature waits for school seismic upgrades

The B.C. legislature doesn
The B.C. legislature doesn't meet building code standards for fire and seismic protection, according to a 2006 assessment released this week.
— image credit: Tom Fletcher/Black Press

VICTORIA – Ministers headed into their first cabinet meeting with Premier Christy Clark Wednesday, well aware that the stately limestone legislature needs major repairs and is a deathtrap in a major earthquake.

This week the B.C. government finally released a 2006 study on the state of the legislative buildings. It confirms that there is no comprehensive plan to maintain and strengthen the legislature and other buildings on the grounds, built in the late 19th century.

The report notes that despite upgrades in the 1970s and 1980s, the legislature does not meet B.C. building codes related to earthquake and fire risk. It says the copper roof domes are "in poor condition," and parts of the building such as parapet caps, roofing and glazing are "failing."

The report estimated the cost of repairs at more than $140 million, with millions more to upgrade adjacent buildings known as the armouries, premier's garage and bunker.

Shirley Bond, named this week at public safety minister, said the legislature precinct is the responsibility of Speaker Bill Barisoff. Barisoff has said the public expects the B.C. government to complete its seismic upgrades of schools around the province before major work is done at the legislature.

The education ministry is in the midst of a 15-year, $1.5 billion program to upgrade school structures.

Its latest progress report shows that 90 projects are complete, mainly in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. Another 21 are under construction, with 10 more projects preparing to start.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

UPDATE: 2 confirmed dead in Marysville, Washington school shooting
 
‘Fixable’ error in proposed White Rock bylaw causes concern
 
Smash-and-grab thieves target dance studio
South Surrey businesses victims of smash-and-grab robbers
 
Cdn held in Cuba should be sent back: MP
 
B.C. Muslim Association speaks out on gunman
Fraser Health scales down mobile flu shot clinics
 
Young dancers land roles in The Nutcracker
 
New cenotaph will be ready, says City

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.