Students, staff, VSB Trustees and BC Premier Christy Clark were on hand February 14 for the official opening of the district's newest $37.9-million secondary school. Following a series of speeches, the Premier conducted a town hall with 150 Grade 11-12 students.
"This is an incredibly exciting time for the University Hill Secondary school community. The community has been working towards the opening of this new school for years," said Patti Bacchus, chair of the Vancouver School Board. "I'm so happy that this day has finally arrived."
Located within the UBC endowment lands, University Hill provides learning space for up to 1,000 Grade 8-12 students. It incorporates the former National Research Council (NRC) facility, which was retrofitted and expanded to house the new school. Natural light is emphasized throughout the school, and classrooms are clustered around a central commons area. Sliding walls and doors allow the conversion of intimate meeting spaces into large halls.
"The best way to help children become the leaders of tomorrow is to ensure they have a bright, modern learning environment today," said Clark. "Through innovative design and great teachers, University Hill puts students at the centre of their learning."
Students and teachers can customize their learning environment to fit small groups of four or crowds of more than sixty. A special technology area features a state-of-the-art robotics lab. The new large gym adjoins to the fitness room and dance studio.
University Hill Secondary was built to meet LEED Gold standards. UBC has provided a 99-year lease of the three-hectare school site at a nominal cost and will also provide an artificial turf playing field on the site. The new University Hill Secondary replaces the original school on Acadia Road, which was built in 1954.