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

Police seek potential victims of bad ‘nanny’

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

First day of fall: what you can look forward to in Greater Victoria this season

Food, festivals, pumpkins and more are coming your way

Needles found at Goldstream campground in Langford

West Shore RCMP respond to several calls for service associated with homeless campers

Oak Bay firefighters help fund new Monterey playground

Sausage Fest cash handed over to Monterey PAC

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read