New replacement schools coming for both Bayview and Begbie elementary schools

Schools & Students

Today Premier John Horgan, along with Minister of Education Rob Fleming, announced funding has been approved by the Province to build two seismic replacement schools for Vancouver for Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary School on Vancouver’s east side and Bayview Community School in Kitsilano.

"It is a priority for Vancouver School District to ensure that we have safe schools and good learning environments for all our students and staff," says Dianne Turner, Official Trustee of VSB. "By building a new, seismically safe school buildings for both Begbie and Bayview, we are helping to ensure that students and teachers in these communities will have a safe and welcoming place to learn and play for decades to come."

Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary School was officially opened in 1930 and currently enrols more than 300 students from kindergarten to grade seven.  The current school building is larger than needed for the number of students projected for this catchment. The new school will be smaller and able to accommodate students expected at this school for many years to come. This ‘rightsizing’ allows Vancouver School Board to get school spaces to fit current needs while ensuring schools continue to operate where needed.

Bayview Community School in Kitsilano attracts many families of visiting UBC lecturers, medical professionals and technology entrepreneurs from around the globe, bringing with them a rich cultural heritage and appreciation for diversity. It was originally built in 1913, with some additions done in 1929 and 1962. The new building will ensure that this school community has a safe building to help it withstand a seismic event.

"When our staff begins working with the designers to create the replacement school for Bayview, they will consider which features of the existing building can be incorporated into the new facility," notes Turner.

These seismic replacements are being undertaken through the Seismic Mitigation Program, with funding from the Province of British Columbia that helps school districts ensure that schools will keep students and staff safe in an earthquake or other emergency.

"I’d like to acknowledge the terrific work of VSB staff in helping achieve this milestone, especially the folks at the Vancouver Project Office and our facilities department, who are leading our work on getting safe schools," Turner adds.

At the announcement, guests were welcomed to Begbie Elementary with music from Division 4 students. Both Begbie's principal, John Cortens, and Bayview's principal, Birgitte Biorn, spoke at the event, along with the chair of Bayview's seismic committee, Tanya Kyi.

Begbie and Bayview funding announcement