The new three storey International Village Elementary school has been revealed. Currently in the design review & approval phase, construction is slated for 2014 and the school is scheduled to open by September 2015.
For many that don’t live in the city’s core, you may be scratching your head. A school in downtown Vancouver, do kids even live there? The answer to that question is a resounding yes and more and more parents are choosing to raise their kids in the region’s vibrant urban core, hence the need for a new elementary school. Demand is high and supply has been insufficient; waiting lists exist for children to be admitted into downtown elementary schools.
The only thing questionable about this new school is that it’s located right across the street from Rogers Arena (and near BC Place) and the road it is located on will soon be widened into a mega-road should Vancouver City Council have its way with removing the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts (kids and heavy traffic through what could be Downtown’s busiest arterial road – it’s not exactly ideal).
While it is right next to Andy Livingstone Park, this doesn’t seem like a friendly area for school children nor is an elementary school within the vicinity compatible with the concept of creating a lively, fun and active around-the-clock stadium entertainment district that boasts large crowds and events regularly. Vancouver’s NIMBYs and community groups aren’t exactly known for their good reasoning and ability to compromise.
The new elementary school will be integrated into an existing mixed use residential development at the corner of Abbott Street and Expo Boulevard and have a student capacity of 60 kindergardeners and 450 Grade one to seven, with a maximum building area of approximately 4434 sq. metres. The school site is designed to accommodate a three storey building and the outdoor play areas and field are located in the adjacent Andy Livingston Park.
The International Village Elementary will be built right in the middle of one of Vancouver’s fastest growing neighbourhoods. The need has been there for years and now finally the funding is in place to make this happen.
The school will help the district accommodate the estimated 16,000 residents in the area.
Image via @BrentToderian