UPDATE: The Vancouver School Board voted Monday night to give the community more time to develop a plan to save Kitsilano’s little yellow schoolhouse.
After hearing from residents hoping to keep it from being torn down, the board voted unanimously to set a new deadline of April 20 for someone with funds to step up and save the century-old building. If the VSB doesn’t have a viable funding plan by mid-May the schoolhouse will likely be headed for demolition once again.
For more than 100 years, countless children have walked through the doors of a little yellow schoolhouse in Kitsilano. But residents are concerned the beloved one-room building may be demolished.
The tiny schoolhouse sits on the same property as General Gordon Elementary where a replacement school is under construction. Locals believe the old schoolhouse may be razed.
“History matters in Kitsilano. Kitsilano has a long history of community advocacy for its old buildings,” said concerned resident Jean Gordon.
“The only reason it’s being taking down, it seems, is to be replaced by parking places,” added Larry Benge.
At least eight cherry blossom trees outside the schoolhouse also appear marked for removal.
Upset residents called on the school board to save this piece of Vancouver history.
“This is a little gem that means a lot and it certainly means a lot to the community,” Vancouver School Board trustee Patti Bacchus said, adding that she was working with VSB staff to consider options to save the schoolhouse.
If there isn’t a reprieve, those who love the little yellow schoolhouse are vowing to block the bulldozers.
“I’ll be here and I will try to stop them,” said Jann Pierce.
Late Monday night, Bacchus tweeted the schoolhouse will not be demolished this week and staff will report back with options next month.
In a statement, The Vancouver Board of Education wrote:
“The Vancouver Board of Education has instructed district staff to explore options to preserve the old yellow schoolhouse at the General Gordon Elementary site.
“Trustees have directed staff to report back to the March 7 public board meeting. No actions will happen with the building until the board considers the new staff report.”
– With files from Catherine Urquhart
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