Should the Board decide to close Queen Elizabeth Annex (QEA), the District would realize substantial annual operating savings, which can be reallocated into programs and services supporting students across the District. See operational cost for more information.
Additionally, closing QEA will provide the option to the Board to consider using the site for other purposes. This is a separate process, as per Policy 20 – Land Disposal. There has been serious interest from the Francophone public school board, CSF to acquire the site (through long-term lease or sale), which could generate significant revenue that could be used to support other capital projects such as building a new school, expanding an existing school or enhancing seismic projects from an upgrade to a replacement. See potential future revenue for more information.
Starting in 2020, the District undertook a detailed analysis of the average cost per student at each school in the region. The overall results of that analysis are available in the VSB Preferred School Size Working Group Final Report.
The annual cost per student to attend QEA is $11,288 (based on a 2019 analysis). This is approximately 40 per cent higher than the provincial enrollment allocation of $7,885 per student.
Average Cost Per Student
|Queen Elizabeth Annex (QEA)
|Queen Elizabeth Elementary (QE)
|Jules Quesnel Elementary (JQ)
Closing QEA could result in significant operational savings of $148,003 annually if students moved to QE, and $295,604 annually if students moved to JQ. These funds could be re-allocated into programs and services supporting students across the District.
Estimated Annual Savings
Consolidate Program at JQ
Relocate QEA students to QE
Furthermore, QEA is an older building with approximately $2M in deferred maintenance. If the Board decides to close QEA, that amount will be avoided. Additionally, costs to maintain the building could be directed to support other District priorities.
Should the Board make the decision to close QEA, it could then make the decision to dispose of the land. Should the Board decide to dispose of the land, this could generate significant revenue that would support projects identified in the capital plan, such as building a new school at Olympic Village, expanding schools in the Cambie corridor, or enhancing seismic work at David Thompson Secondary or Grenfell Elementary. As per the capital plan instructions, the BC government expects all school districts to contribute up to 50 per cent of project costs for new school or expansion projects identified in the capital plan.
There is serious interest from CSF to acquire the QEA school site. However, any decision about future use of the school site must occur after the Board decides to close QEA. A separate engagement process with stakeholders and impacted groups would take place, after the Board decides whether to close the school. As outlined in – Land Disposal:
“…prior to disposing of Real Property, the Board shall undertake, with stakeholders, local governments, community organizations and/or the public, such consultations as the Board may consider appropriate with respect to the Real Property involved. This consultation process shall include:
2.1.1 Consideration of future enrolment growth in the School District, including K-12, adult programs and early learning;
2.1.2 Consideration of alternative community use of surplus space in school buildings and other facilities;
2.1.3 A fair consideration of the community's input and adequate opportunity for the community to respond the Board's plan for the Real Property.”