What’s happening right now?
Bayview students just started their second school year at the swing site/portables located at Queen Elizabeth Elementary on Camosun and 16th Avenue. Students are bussed between McBride Park (5th Avenue and Collingwood Street) and Queen Elizabeth Elementary in the morning and afternoon, and are either on bus 1, 2 or 3.
Over the summer the old school building has been demolished and all hazmat work has been completed. Currently the project is in excavation stage and soon micro piles will be installed to prepare for new concrete footings.
While the province will fund the new building, it does not fund new contents. Meaning most classroom furniture for the new school will be the same furniture teachers used in the old building and moved to the portables.
Our PAC will be fundraising for common-area furniture, projectors, area rugs, playground equipment and more. Please visit https://buildingbayview.com for updates on construction and fundraising efforts.
How long will the upgrade take?
The new school is slated to be open for occupancy in January 2022.
Is there other background info I should know?
Bayview Community School was built in 1914 and has significant historical value.
Unfortunately, Bayview’s age has led to both maintenance concerns (lead pipes, asbestos, outdated heating systems, etc.) and seismic concerns. The Province of BC Seismic Assessment Program in 2004 and the follow-up Vancouver School Board audit completed by Coriolis Consulting in 2011 both ranked Bayview at high risk of structural failure in the case of an earthquake.
These are schools that were built in Long Beach, California, at almost the same time as Bayview. Like Bayview, they were unreinforced brick buildings with inferior mortar. A five-second-long magnitude 6.25 earthquake struck Long Beach in March 1933.
What does the Seismic Committee Do?
We are working to ensure our upgrade proceeds as quickly as possible. Many projects have faced repeated delays, but we want Bayview students in a safe building soon.
We are also committed to making sure that the voices of parents, teachers and staff are clearly heard in the upgrade process.
Over the last decade, our committee has worked tirelessly to ensure the new school will be built to high quality standards, offer significant space for future growth, and incorporate our traditions as a community school, such as hosting preschools, out-of-school care, and several community organizations.
MLA David Eby raised the issue of Bayview’s seismic upgrade during the government debate on budget estimates in April 2016. Minister of Education Mike Bernier assured Mr. Eby that our upgrade was a government priority. You can watch their exchange here.
Bayview parents staged a “Not Safe to Shake” rally on May 7th, 2015. Trustees Christopher Richardson, Patti Bacchus, Mike Lombardi, Janet Fraser, and Penny Noble attended, along with opposition critic for education Rob Fleming. The rally was covered by The Georgia Straight and by Vancouver 24 Hours.
Many parents sent letters in February and March 2015 to Minister of Education Peter Fassbender, Premier Christy Clark, and VSB Chair Christopher Richardson, expressing our concerns about these delays. (Sample Letter)
Bayview’s seismic needs were previously highlighted by several media outlets, including CBC and CTV.
In 2012, parents wrote letters en masse to both Christy Clark, our local MLA, and Don MacRae, then Minister of Education. We received a response from Don MacRae on November 8, 2012.
David Eby, the NDP candidate in our riding, toured the school on February 8, 2013. During the July 2013 budget debates, he also asked Minister of Education Peter Fassbender to expedite our upgrade and those of other Vancouver schools.
The Seismic Committee started a petition which has over 1200 signatures to date. Members also created a video tour of our school. The video has over 800 views and can be seen here.