City of Vancouver Development Review and Urban Development staff and representatives from the Vancouver School Board Planning and Facilities Department joined the September 18, 2017 PAC meeting to update parents on the progress of the planning application for the new school.
You can read all the development application documents on the City’s website.
The City of Vancouver Planning Application Department is currently reviewing the development application. This involves collecting comments from the community and input from relevant city departments including traffic and urban design. Once the development application has been approved and a permit issued, a building permit application needs to be approved. No firm dates were given, but it is expected that the relevant permits could be issued by April 2018.
At the meeting Tennyson parents raised a number of concerns about the new school which were addressed by the VSB and city panel. Below is a recap of some of the concerns discussed.
Does the proposed new school meet the current and future needs of the community?
In the Tennyson Project Definition Report the VSB states it is planning to redevelop the existing Lord Tennyson Elementary School and provide an entirely new school building on the existing site. The new school building will provide a capacity for 60 Kindergarten students and 375 grades 1 through 7 students, which is the same capacity as the existing school building. An out of school care component and a City of Vancouver Childcare centre (with a capacity for 69 children) will also form part of the new school building.
Parents were concerned that the plan for the new school was based on three year old student enrollment projections that don’t take account of the revised class size and composition and increased density in the neighbourhood. The VSB representatives reported that the Ministry of Education’s priority is to build a seismically safe building and not to address capacity issues with our new school. It was also stated that going back to the Ministry to review the plans based on current data could/would delay the project by three years.
Will there be enough out of school care spaces?
The team from the VSB confirmed that there will be space to accommodate the same number of out of school care students that are accommodated at the current school (105 students, I believe). The plan is to accommodate the students in the modular buildings and in “flex space” in the new school building. There are no additional out of school care spaces in the current school plan.
The daycare on the roof is a concern
Safety and traffic concerns were voiced about the planned daycare on the roof. The VSB representatives suggested that different drop off and pick up times for the daycare will ease traffic. As well, the elevator to the daycare is in the main lobby of the school in clear sight of the office staff.
How will traffic around the new school be managed?
A comprehensive Traffic Management Plan has been created as part of the development application. It is being considered by the City’s development review team along with the other documentation. Read the report here.
How do we have our say?
Please send your comments about the new school (both concerns and positive feedback) to the City of Vancouver’s Development Project Application Project Facilitator, Troy Tenney, at email@example.com
The deadline for comment has been extended to September 25, 2017
A Lord Tennyson Seismic Committee has been created and you will be able to send your feedback to the committee via a parent representative shortly. As well, a survey will be sent to parents to collect comments and feedback. We will send out the survey as soon as it is created.