A design rendering of Canada’s first-ever Tsunami evacuation tower to be built in Haida Gwaii will improve the safety of students and community members in case of a seismic emergency. (image provided by Ministry of Education)

A design rendering of Canada’s first-ever Tsunami evacuation tower to be built in Haida Gwaii will improve the safety of students and community members in case of a seismic emergency. (image provided by Ministry of Education)

$16.5 million tsunami safety tower and seismic upgrades for Haida Gwaii community

Haida Gwaii will be home to Canada’s first-ever tsunami tower in Masset

The North Coast community of Masset will be home to the first-ever in Canada, tsunami evacuation tower. The tower will be built starting in the summer of 2021 on the property of Gudangaay Tlaat’sa Naay (GTN) Secondary school in Haida Gwaii.

The $16.5 million funding from the provincial government through the Seismic Mitigation Program is assisted by a $250,000 contribution from School District 50 Board of Education to make capital and safety improvements to the school.

The project will create better protection for the community in an earthquake, Jennifer Rice parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness and MLA for the North Coast, said.

The 10 metre high tower will increase safety and lessen road congestion in the event of a seismic emergency, Rice said. She has seen first hand the traffic build-up to the current evacuation safety which is 10 km away along one road.

The new steel tower has a capacity for an estimated 250 people and will be built primarily to accommodate the students and staff at a newly amalgamated K-12 education facility. It will include storage for emergency supplies.

Rice said while the provincial government has been upgrading schools for seismic safety over the past couple of years Masset’s safety needed to be taken one step further because of the low ground in the north Haida Gwaii area. While the tower alone costs $2.3 million, the rest of the funds for the project will provide 100 per cent seismic upgrades to the school.

“Masset is a unique community, which is why our local families need a unique school to ensure students can be successful and safe, especially if a major disaster were to occur,” Rice said.

The one-of-a-kind project will be constructed at Gudangaay Tlaat’sa Naay (GTN) Secondary school. Once completed, the project will be home to an amalgamated GTN and Tahaygen Elementary facility which will serve Masset students and families.

In addition to safety improvements, the project will also include renovations to ensure the school is suitable for students in every grade. This includes the addition of a new main entrance, special education room, and the creation of a secondary Xaad Kil Haida language learning space.

With funding from the Province now in place, it will be up to the Haida Gwaii School Board to move the project forward, the Ministry of Education said.

“This means the board will own and operate the tower, and be responsible for access and planning, as well as ensuring it is supplied with goods for emergencies.”

Construction is expected to be completed by the fall of 2022.

We are so thrilled to be moving forward with this project as it will embody many things for our students,” Dana Moraes, chair of the Haida Gwaii Board of Education said. “Most importantly, a safer learning environment, but also it will provide additional educational opportunities and will house our students in one location, which will offer many remarkable opportunities.”


 
K-J Millar | Journalist 
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Taylor Bachrach, NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley addresses Parliament on June 7, in call for the federal government to stop fighting Indigenous children in court and to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action. (Image: supplied from Facebook)
NDP motion calling for immediate reconciliation action passes

Skeena-Bulkley MP Taylor Bachrach addresses federal Parliament

Coho is one of many fish species that will benefit from a project to assess fish passage in the Falls River Watershed and offer options for improved connectivity and habitat restoration. The project will be delivered with funding from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program announced on June 8. (Photo: supplied by FWCP, istock, M.Haring)
More than $2.1 million for Northcoast fish and wildlife projects

Falls River Watershed SE of Prince Rupert to have fish passage and habitat study

UFAWU-Unifor stated on June 8 that there is no evidence of commercial fishing fleet overfishing for salmon. A salmon being weighed in Prince Rupert during the correct season in 2020. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
UFAWU-Unifor responds to DFO’s Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative

Union states there is no evidence of overfishing in the commercial fleet

Ocean Wise’s cetacean photogrammetry research program uses aerial images collected by boat-launched drones to measure the body condition of whales and assess their health and nutritional status. (Ocean Wise Marine Mammal License MML-18 photo)
LNG Canada commits $750K to Ocean Wise

New three-year initiative expands whale research, conservation and education programs in the north west

Loki, a young bald eagle is seen in recovery after being found hanging from power lines on just her second day of independence, last July. Equipped with a GPS, Loki has made a home in Prince Rupert with Hancock Wildlife Foundation asking for help in photographing her. (Photo: Hancock Wildlife Foundation)
Looking for Loki, the new Prince Rupert local

Hancock Wildlife Foundation is asking the public for help

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read