Future Development Considerations
The VSB plans for the long-term use of facilities through the capital planning process. Similar to the City of Vancouver UBC/UEL’s capital planning process, the District’s capital plan considers future long-term needs much longer than the 10-15 year forecasts for enrolment trends. The capital planning process emphasizes flexibility and adaptability in facilities to ensure District buildings will be in use for decades to come.
Developments in the District
The District works with the City of Vancouver and UBC/UEL to ensure there are sites available to build new schools in areas of potential enrolment growth due to new development. New or expanded schools are typically funded by the Ministry of Education and Child Care. As a result of this long-term planning, the District is well positioned to foresee, adapt, and respond to increases in the youth population from any development in future decades.
- University Hill Secondary, Elsie Roy Elementary and Crosstown Elementary are examples of schools that had land previously set aside or acquired by the VSB years in advance to accommodate potential enrolment growth as part of the capital planning process.
- A new school at Coal Harbour is in construction. The school will address enrolment pressure in the downtown area. The school is being fully funded by the VSB using proceeds from the sale of subterranean land rights to BC Hydro to build a new Westend substation.
The sites below have been identified for future schools when government funding becomes available.
- Olympic Village: the District has finalized a long term lease agreement with the City of Vancouver for the school site at Olympic Village. The school is in the planning phase.
- Wesbrook: the site at UBC is available to accommodate a new elementary school.
- East Fraser Lands - the site in the River District is available to address potential enrolment pressures in nearby catchments. It is important to note recent developments in the River District have not yet translated into large increases in the number of school-aged students enrolling in the District.
Developments near QEA
The District works collaboratively and in partnership with the City of Vancouver on many planning projects to closely monitor the city’s major developments. Future areas of development, such as University of British Columbia (UBC)/University Endowment Lands (UEL) and Jericho Lands, were also studied by staff in making the recommendation to surplus the QEA site. The District is well positioned to foresee, adapt and respond to increases in the youth population from any development in future decades.
Accommodating Enrolment Growth at UBC/UEL
Both elementary schools (Norma Rose Point and University Hill Elementary) in the University of British Columbia (UBC)/ University Endowment Lands (UEL) area are full, with some students being placed at nearby schools in the District. Enrolment is increasing due to ongoing development of new residential units in area. To date enrolment forecasts have adequately captured the impact of continuing development. These forecasts indicate that there will be additional enrolment pressure in the area in coming years; however rapid enrolment growth is not anticipated.
There is significant available space at schools near UBC/UEL (Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Southlands, Kitchener and Bayview) to accommodate elementary students who are not able to be enrolled in their catchment school (Norma Rose Point Elementary and University Hill Elementary).
In addition, the Wesbrook site near University Hill Secondary school has been set aside for the construction of a new elementary school as required when capital funding becomes available. A new elementary school at UBC is prioritized in Year 5 of the Capital Plan.
Accommodating Enrolment Growth from the Jericho Lands Development
Led by the City of Vancouver, the Jericho Lands Planning Program is still in the early phases of planning and information about how many additional residents the development will yield in the area is still being determined. The project is expected to be developed over the next 30 years. That said, District staff is planning collaboratively with CoV staff with the objective that the development plan for the Jericho Lands will include land zoned for elementary school use – this is the optimal solution to ensure the development of a complete low carbon family-oriented community with co-located amenities. Prior to the construction of a school on the Jericho lands, the District has existing options to accommodate students, that require no capital investment, such as using surplus capacity at nearby schools including Queen Mary, Bayview, Queen Elizabeth and Kitchener. In addition, if necessary, there is also temporary accommodation available at the Queen Elizabeth site to accommodate potential students from the future Jericho lands development.
The District does not foresee any circumstance where the QEA site (with an operating capacity of 98 maximum students) would be used or needed to accommodate students from the Jericho Lands development. As funding becomes available from the government, the District will pursue seismic upgrades and, if necessary, expansions at Southlands, Queen Elizabeth Elementary and Carnarvon. Each of these school sites is larger and more suitably located for a catchment school than the QEA site.