It’ll be an eight-block walk, but it’ll keep students together.
The Vancouver School Board has come up with a solution for students affected by the Carleton Elementary School fire.
VSB Chair Mike Lombardi says 274 Carleton students will be going to school at Cunningham.
Carleton will have its own functioning school on the property.
“We’ve filed a claim with the Ministry of Education. It’ll be sometime before we hear about that. It is not safe to be in right now. The existing buildings that still remain on the site don’t have power, or electricity that all works for the main building, so we’ve determined that that site is not usable for the foreseeable future.”
Lombardi says it shouldn’t be an issue for the kids to head over to Carelton.
“Carleton school is interesting. Many of our students – over 50% of the kids don’t live in the catchment area. They come from other parts of the community, including the surrounding school – about 30% or 40%, so, kids can go to any school that they want.”
He says the district is happy to help parents make alternate arrangements for students if they don’t want to go to Cunningham.
The arrangements will likely stick for most of the 2016-2017 school year.
The preliminary estimates for damage costs are $6 million.
Will the school close for good?
Carleton Elementary is one of twelve Vancouver schools up for closure.
As for whether or not this fire increases the school’s chances of being shut down, Lombardi says it’s too soon to say.
“The school closure process continues. We have twelve schools identified on there, including Carleton. The next step of the process is on September 15th. The school board will be receiving twelve reports – one on each school, including Carleton – and, at that time, the board will determine if Carleton and any other schools remain on the list for consideration, so that’s where we’re at right now.”
The VSB is also dealing with a budget shortfall, sitting at nearly $22 million.
NDP MLA says school should re-open when fixes are made
“We’re hopeful that we can get to Carleton as soon as possible.”
Adrian Dix, MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway, says Carleton Elementary needs to re-open and stay open.
But with damage at $6-million paired with the threat of potential closure by the Vancouver School Board because of under capacity – does it make sense to re-open?
Dix says for the future – absolutely.
“The idea is to dramatically increase density in Southeast Vancouver which is happening. The Joyce station plan triples the number of homes in the neighborhood. There are going to be eight, thirty-story buildings going up within walking distance.”