Council to vote on school for downtown 0
Andy Livingstone Park, 55 Expo Blvd in Vancouver is the site of a proposed elementary school. (Carmine Marinelli/Vancouver 24hours/QMI Agency)
Forget about packing the kids off to school in the suburbs.
Vancouver city council is set to vote Wednesday on whether to support the construction of a school nestled amongst condo buildings downtown.
The proposed site of the International Village elementary school sits at Andy Livingstone Park in the Crosstown neighbourhood, which borders Chinatown, Gastown and Rogers Arena.
“The notion of retiring to the suburbs with your little box house, I mean that’s a notion from the ‘50s that doesn’t really work,” said Fern Jeffries, False Creek Residents Association co-chairwoman.
The proposed school was originally slated to hold 350 students, but with the increasing number of families moving into the neighbourhood over the past decade, it must now accommodate 500, according to a city council report released last week.
Jeffries said the demand for classroom spots in Crosstown has parallels to Yaletown — a primarily residential neighbourhood lined with condos.
“The city planned it to be a community for, kind of, yuppie singles,” she said.
“Lo and behold, the yuppie singles got together and produced kids.”
NPA Coun. George Affleck lives with his family in Yaletown, but only one of his three kids attends school there. The others go to separate schools outside of the downtown core.
“It’s impossible to do it without a car,” he said.
“If you want people to live and work and do everything locally, it has to include schools. And right now, we’re not meeting the demand.”
Jeffries said despite progress towards building an elementary school for Crosstown, there are other pressing concerns around the corner.
“At this point what would be very helpful is … to know that there is some planning around high school.”