At least one parent is worried about where her daughter will go after a devastating fire at Sir Guy Carleton Elementary over the weekend.
With two weeks before the start of school, parents are beginning to scramble for solutions.
Merian Dialogo has a daughter in 5th grade.
“When she saw the fire, she was crying and she said ‘Mommy what will happen now to our school?'”
And while the extent of the damage has left questions about whether or not the school can be saved, Dialogo says she’s had a difficult time telling her daughter that everything will be okay.
“She was really upset. She said ‘Mommy, I’m depressed’. And I had to tell her ‘Don’t worry, they’ll do something, maybe they’ll restore it so you won’t have to go to a different school, or maybe they’ll plan something to keep it open until they re-do the brick building’.”
But Dialogo says she and her husband are braced with the possibility they may need to hire someone to pick up and drop off her daughter, something they may not be able to afford.
She also says the damage to the school comes at a particularly difficult time, when she and her family had been working to save the school from VSB closure. Sir Guy Carleton is one of 12 schools on a list for potential closure released earlier this year.
“I just feel so devastated and heartbroken. We’ve been trying to save the school [from closing] and suddenly, we just saw that it’s on fire.”
She says the worst case scenario is the school won’t be able to accommodate her daughter and she’ll have be relocated further away.
“Oh my God, I don’t know what I’ll [have] to do. I’ll need to hire someone to drop my daughter off at school, that’s my worry, financially and everything.”
Dialogo says she’s lost sleep and weight over the stress of what will happen to her daughter.
School board officials weigh in on the damage
Meanwhile, Mike Lombardi with the Vancouver School Board admits the fire ripped through the school and caused a lot of damage.
“Our staff and the fire department have been working 24/7 to do an assessment of the damage.”
The VSB chair says the hope is the damage isn’t severe enough it’ll keep kids from the school in September, but everything is on the table at this point.
“Our paramount issue is student safety and we’ll look at that. Our priority is to have students at Carleton if that’s at all possible, but our staff is also exploring other options because we need to make sure our students are in a safe building and our staff also.”
Lombardi expects more information to be delivered this week.