School board reveals shortlist of 12 schools facing potential closure
The Vancouver School Board revealed 12 schools that could be on the chopping block.
Vancouver parents learned Monday afternoon which schools made a shortlist of buildings that could be closed by the public board.
The Vancouver School Board is looking to close schools to save money and meet a 95 per cent capacity target the province has set as a condition to pay for long-awaited seismic upgrades.
On Monday afternoon, the board revealed which of its 91 elementary and 18 secondary schools have been flagged for further consideration: four annexes, six elementary schools and two secondary schools. With the exception of one school in Dunbar, all schools are east of Main Street.
The list was revealed at a news conference, where board director Mike Lombardi described the decision as "very important and challenging."
The schools on the shortlist are:
- Queen Elizabeth Annex – K-3 students would be accommodated at Queen Elizabeth Elementary
- Champlain Heights Annex – K-3 students would be accommodated at Champlain Heights Elementary
- Tecumseh Annex – K-3 students would be accommodated at Tecumseh Elementary
- Sir Richard McBride Annex – K-3 students would be accommodated at McBride Elementary
- Admiral Seymour Elementary – students would be accommodated at Strathcona School, but not until 2018
- Graham Bruce Elementary – students would be accommodated at Grandview Elementary and Collingwood Neighbourhood School
- Sir Guy Carleton Elementary – students would be accommodated at Cunningham Elementary and Dr. H.N. MacCorkindale Elementary
- Queen Alexandra Elementary – students would be accommodated at Grandview Elementary and Florence Nightingale Elementary
- Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary – students would be accommodated at Walter Moberly School
- Dr. A.R. Lord Elementary – students would be accommodated at Begbie Elementary
- Britannia Secondary – students would be accommodated at Templeton Secondary
- Gladstone Secondary – students would be accommodated at Windermere Secondary, Vancouver Technical Secondary, John Oliver Secondary and Tupper Secondary
Lombardi said the list is preliminary, and only reveals which schools will be looked at further by the board's senior staff.
"No decisions to close any schools have been made," he said.
The final decisions will be made by school trustees, based on a staff report due in September. Before decisions are made, community members will be asked to provide input in the fall, then another report will be presented in December. Those wishing to provide feedback to the board before the end of the 2015-16 school year may do so online.
Any decisions made will be effective Sept. 1, 2017.
The province and the Vancouver School Board have been negotiating on what to do after the VSB rejected cuts to balance its $477 million operating budget.
Earlier this year, CTV News obtained information on the capacities of Metro Vancouver schools. Many of the schools losing students sit in what would have until recently been considered family-friendly neighbourhoods, marked by single-family homes with yards, green space and plenty of places to play.
But skyrocketing house prices have made it more difficult for young families to move to those neighbourhoods, Lombardi said at the time.
Wondering how under- or over-capacity your school is? Click through the map to find out.
CTV also looked at how enrolment has changed over time at the city's elementary schools. The data showed that enrolment has dropped steadily since 2007 in most Vancouver neighbourhoods.