Class Notes: Politicians trumpet seismic school replacements

Lord Nelson, General Gordon elementary schools feted by MLAs and mayor

Vancouver schools were rife with funding announcements, government ministers and promises of better days ahead last week.

The bonanza kicked off Wednesday at Lord Nelson elementary school, near Kitchener and Nanaimo, when the province doled out $18.4 million for the school’s seismic replacement.

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The new school is expected to be ready by the fall of 2018 and will have the same capacity: 57 kids in kindergarten and 373 students in grades 1 to 7. Students will remain in the existing school, built in 1910, until the new facility is opened.

The new three-storey school will have a Neighbourhood Learning Centre and a StrongStart program. The City of Vancouver also chipped in $6.4 million to build a 69-space childcare centre.

“There is a huge demand for affordable, quality child care in Vancouver,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a prepared statement. “By combining new child care facilities with upgrades to our schools, the city is maximizing its investment and working with the provincial government to help deliver new child care spaces for Vancouver parents.”

The Liberals’ happy happy, joy joy tour of the city continued Friday, when Vancouver MLAs Andrew Wilkinson and Sam Sullivan attended the opening of the $16.5-million seismic replacement of General Gordon elementary in Kitsilano.

The new school includes two kindergarten classrooms and 16 classrooms for grades 1-7. The replacement project included demolishing the 104-year-old school and building the new school on the same site.

All in, the three-storey building accommodates 38 kindergarten and 373 elementary students in grades 1-7. It also includes a Neighbourhood Learning Centre that provides space for a music program, a multi-purpose area with a kitchen, a “flexible performance space” and an improved library.   

“It’s fantastic to see this important seismic replacement project complete and students enjoying their new modern space,” said Sullivan, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek. “The new $16.5-million Gordon General elementary school will provide our youngest learners with a safe and impressive environment so they can succeed.”

@JohnKurucz

jkurucz@vancourier.com

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