(Vancouver – June 25, 2018) At its open board meeting tonight, trustees of the Vancouver School Board approved moving forward with a deal to sell BC Hydro a subsurface parcel beneath the Lord Roberts Annex site in the West End for development of an underground substation.
"We thank our stakeholders and the West End community for their interest and input on this proposal and I also thank our Board of Trustees for their due diligence in reviewing the proposal materials and asking many questions," says Janet Fraser, Chair of the Vancouver Board of Education. "Having considered all relevant factors the Board has now voted to move forward with this project. The VSB will continue to consult and work with our stakeholders and the West End community as the timeline for this project unfolds."
With this agreement, BC Hydro is buying rights at fair market value to VSB to build the underground substation. The school district retains all rights to the property above ground.
VSB, working with the City of Vancouver expects to have a new school in Coal Harbour ready by 2023 to temporarily house Lord Roberts Annex students while construction of the substation and replacement school built on the annex site take place.
BC Hydro has said that they need a new substation in the West End to ensure that residents continue to receive reliable power as the electricity system in downtown Vancouver is aging.
Both VSB and BC Hydro consulted with the community on the proposed plan in May and June. Details of those consultations can be found in the report to VSB's Planning and Facilities Committee (Committee 2).
Moving forward, BC Hydro will work with the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Park Board to begin discussions and community consultations on leases or rights of way that may be required for the substation. In April 2018, the City stated: "There would be a separate, future public engagement to deal with issues of primary importance to the City and Park Board."
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NB: Janet Fraser will speak to media at 10:30 am Tuesday, June 26 at the VSB Education Centre, 1580 West Broadway.