EDITORIAL: Could it be a fond farewell for Vic High?

City’s iconic high school faces uncertain, but safer future

The Greater Victoria School District’s Board of Education has a tough task ahead with the disposition of Victoria High School.

The 94-year-old structure is a throwback to the past, a time when the region had one high school and students travelled from far and wide to attend classes. As the population shifted to the suburbs, other high schools emerged and reduced that travel time for families.

Vic High may well be the last school standing in the province that was built as a monolithic, four-storey structure designed to hold the entirety of a city’s high schoolers.

In 2018, the reality is Vic High wouldn’t be a safe place for students or staff in the event of a major earthquake. While it may seem sturdy enough to those who have walked its hallways in recent decades, modern standards require more adequate assurance that people inside a building will be safe if and when a disaster strikes.

The tough task for the board involves deciding which route to go with this iconic and historic element of the Victoria landscape. The options, which the public can weigh in on starting Saturday; include a full seismic upgrade to shore up potential hazards, demolishing the current building and constructing a new school, and retaining the facade and rebuilding the interior.

All are costly choices, but the province has placed Vic High atop its seismic safety priority list and agrees the work must be done sooner than later.

With so many Vic High alumni in our midst, there will be emotional arguments made to retain at least the existing facade of the building. If that cannot be done safely or without incurring far greater cost, the era of the four-storey brick school will likely be over for our city.

No matter what happens, the memories the school created, good and not-so-good, will live on in its thousands of grads. And if it is to be demolished, we’re certain the old school won’t go down without an appropriate sendoff.

Just Posted

Trapped Vancouver Island crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Oak Bay’s Spandads help give new life to used bikes

Local cycling club is donating 100 bikes worldwide to those in need

More affordable housing for Indigenous residents coming to Langford

40 units will be added to Station Avenue development

Reader Response: Victoria’s wages not meeting general needs

Victoria was recently ranked as one of the worst cities in B.C. to work in due to low average income

VIDEO: Ballet Victoria’s take on the The Nutcracker tours Vancouver Island and the Mainland

Performances in Revelstoke, Coquitlam, Chilliwack and Victoria

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

High streamflow advisory in effect across the Island

River Forecast Centre issues advisory as Pacific storms batter the coast

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

Man in his 60s dies in ATV accident north of Parksville

BC Coroners Service investigating the death

VIDEO: Kitten rescued from under school bus in Duncan

School staff have affectionately called kitten “Axle”

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Most Read