In a controversial move, the Vancouver School Board has voted to close the adult education program at Lord Roberts Elementary School in the city's West End to make space for kindergarten classes.
Many in attendance at Monday night's board meeting opposed the move, saying the Roberts Education Centre on Comox Street was the only place adults could learn downtown.
But VSB chair Patti Bacchus said they needed the space for kindergarten classes, with 70 parents already on wait lists in the area.
"Unfortunately the demands of children have to come before adults when we look at elementary school space," said Bacchus.
Ken Denike was one trustee who voted against the closure.
"That was done without due process and I would say it's really in bad faith," said Denike.
The centre will close by mid-September, when its students will be dispersed among the city's five other adult education spaces, four of which are located either close to, or in, the downtown area.
The school board amended the motion to ask staff to look for other spaces for adult education downtown.
Nevertheless, Chris Murphy, who teaches at Roberts Education Centre, said the decision was pushed through without consultation, and he's worried many of his students won't be able to continue their education.
"They need a place to go to school, and to be honest with you, to go an hour or an hour and a half out of their way to another location, it's really prohibitive. It can really make the difference between being able to take a course and not."
Natalie Hatch said the centre helped her get her high school diploma despite her struggle with drug addiction. She worries others like herself won't be able to get that chance.
"Closing it down is closing down the future of so many people," said Hatch.