Last week Viewpoint Vancouver covered the new ABC (A Better City) party’s new majority on Vancouver City Council and in a separate post reviewed the new ABC majority on Park Board. That post also covered the ABC’s disappointing decision to take out the Park Drive bike lane next month, something that was NOT listed on their campaign promises. The ABC party says there will be two lanes of vehicular drivers on Park Drive, and that will clear up “congestion”. A separate “lane” or path for bike users along Park Drive is scheduled to be added next summer.
But back to the election and the last sweep of ABC on election day and that is of the Vancouver School Board. There are nine positions for school board trustee.
The ABC party’s candidates garnered the top five highest votes, with almost a 20,000 vote difference to the next candidate. The party elected five people on their platform and their direction pledged included providing leadership for “safe schools and excellence” in classrooms including bringing back the honours program. The school liaison officer program will also be brought back.
One of the elected ABC trustee candidates, Chris Richardson, is a board member of a charitable organization that had its charitable status taken back by the Canada Revenue Agency last month. Until that matter is resolved, Mr. Richardson will not be part of the ABC Caucus.
Besides the five ABC candidates with the most votes, Janet Fraser of the Green Party is back as well as Lois Chan-Pedley. COPE trustee Suzie Mah was elected, and the sole OneCity trustee that served last time Jennifer Reddy was re-elected.
You can take a look at the Vancouver School Board (VSB) webpage to the range of work that the school board undertakes, from classrooms to building new facilities. The VSB’s Educational Planning and Facilities Department has a yearly planning cycle evaluating operational requirements with Ministry of Education objectives. The department produces a Long-Range Facilities Plan which is annually updated.
Local planning studies are undertaken in response to emerging District and Board priorities and requirements. The Long-Range Facilities Plan indicates several opportunities where a Local Planning Study could be undertaken to inform key local decisions.
Three school facility items will be coming up during this new Trustees’ term. The first is the West End School Expansion which will install a BC Hydro substation below the site at Lord Roberts Annex, located at 1150 Nelson Street, and rebuild that school.
The second item is the Coal Harbour school located at 482 Broughton Street that is currently in a phase two design process and moving toward construction. It will have 42,000 square feet for 340 children, including a 65 childcare space.This will also include sixty units of social housing, with nearly 60 percent of that housing being designed for families, and should be underway by 2024.
The third item is the Olympic Village School which is also to start construction by 2024. The site was in the Official Development Plan for the area adopted in 2007, and will be close to Hinge Park.