British Columbia

Vancouver school closures spark concern

About 500 people jammed a public meeting on Monday night to protest the potential closure of Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School in East Vancouver.

About 500 people jammed a public meeting on Monday night to protest the potential closure of Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School in East Vancouver.

The Vancouver School board is looking at closing up to five schools in order to deal with declining enrolment and its remaining $9 million dollar budget deficit.

School officials say closing Carleton will save the VSB just over half a million dollars a year. The 114-year-old school also needs seismic upgrades in order to make it safe during an earthquate

But many who turned out on Monday night, such as former student Karen Larsen, told trustees not to close the school.

"Closing Carelton will not only take away generations of history but as well as the present and future.  It seems like suicide of the community. I [genuinely] hope you all will reconsider and reconsider again until it is decided that none of these schools will be closed," said Larsen.

Barbara Cantwell, a former teacher at the school, also spoke out against the closure.

" I would like you to not close this school because it has roughly 380 students at present and the projected number remains the same into 2019.  And operating at around 73 percent capacity is not grounds to close this school," said Cantwell.

The VSB has scheduled another nine public meetings to hear from the public about the closures. The five schools facing possible closure are:

  • Queen Alexandra Elementary.
  • Carleton Elementary.
  • Macdonald Elementary.
  • McBride Annex.
  • Champlain Heights Annex.

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