Students, teachers and staff now have a state-of-the-art school to call home, following the completion of the $16.5-million seismic replacement of General Gordon Elementary in Kitsilano.
MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena Andrew Wilkinson and MLA for Vancouver-False Creek Sam Sullivan celebrated the official opening on behalf of Education Minister Mike Bernier along with Vancouver School Board official trustee Dianne Turner, staff and students at General Gordon Elementary today.
The new school is a modern three-storey building that can accommodate 38 kindergarten and 373 elementary students in grades 1-7. The design and open learning spaces throughout the school support B.C.’s new curriculum. It includes two kindergarten classrooms, sixteen classrooms for grades 1-7 and features:
- a Neighbourhood Learning Centre that provides space for a music program;
- a multi-purpose area with a kitchen;
- a flexible performance space; and,
- an improved library.
The replacement project included demolishing the 104-year-old school and building the new school on the same site with the main entrance on Bayswater Street. The project started in 2014 and was complete on schedule in September. General Gordon was supported as a high priority for seismic upgrade under B.C.’s award-winning Seismic Mitigation Program.
Since the launch of the Seismic Mitigation Program in 2004, 21 of the Vancouver school district’s 89 high-risk schools have been seismically upgraded or replaced, and nine projects worth more than $200 million are underway.
The Vancouver Project Office, which aims to ensure school seismic projects in Vancouver are completed faster and more cost-effectively, played a key role in moving General Gordon forward. Recently, government directed the Vancouver Project Office to take a fresh look at ways to fast-track the remaining seismic upgrades or replacement projects in Vancouver.
Government is able to make investments like the General Gordon Elementary school seismic replacement, thanks to the Province’s fiscal discipline and strong economy.
Andrew Wilkinson, MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena –
“The B.C. government is committed to seismically upgrading or replacing all high-risk schools in Vancouver to protect and support students, teachers and staff. Today we’re celebrating the completion of General Gordon – a seismically safe and state-of-the-art school that will serve students and the community for generations to come.”
Sam Sullivan, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek –
“It’s fantastic to see this important seismic replacement project complete and students enjoying their new modern space. The new $16.5 million Gordon General Elementary school will provide our youngest learners with a safe and impressive environment so they can succeed.”
Dianne Turner, official trustee, Vancouver School Board –
“This beautiful new school is not only seismically safe, but is a highly functional building that helps the General Gordon Elementary community achieve one of its guiding principles, to ‘be a place where people enjoy spending their time.’ Getting all Vancouver School Board students into safe learning environments remains a priority for VSB, and I’m happy to celebrate the success of this seismic mitigation project.”
- General Gordon opened in 1912. It was named for British General Charles George Gordon, who was killed at Khartoum in January 1885.
- Since 2001, government has spent over $234 million and is committed to spend another $566 million for a total investment of over $800 million to ensure schools in Vancouver are seismically safe for students.
- The following projects are currently underway in Vancouver:
- Lord Tennyson Elementary – $24.5 million seismic replacement
- Dr. Annie B. Jamieson – $13.1 million seismic upgrade;
- Sir Sandford Fleming Elementary – $25.9 million seismic replacement and childcare centre;
- Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith Elementary – $11.6 million seismic upgrade;
- Lord Nelson Elementary – $24.8 million seismic replacement and childcare centre;
- Lord Strathcona Elementary – $25.6 million seismic upgrade;
- L’Ecole Bilingue Elementary – $15.2 million seismic replacement;
- Kitsilano Secondary – $57.8 million seismic upgrade and replacement;
- Queen Mary Elementary – $19.1 million seismic upgrade.
- Over the next three years, B.C. will invest $1.7 billion to replace and renovate aging school buildings and add more student spaces in growing communities.
Vancouver School Board: https://www.vsb.bc.ca/
B.C.’s new curriculum: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/
Neighbourhood Learning Centres: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/administration/community-partnerships/neighbourhood-learning-centres