Goodbye to Bayview elementary: Kitsilano bids farewell to Vancouver landmark

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      After standing for more than a century, the old brick school is coming down.

      By summer, Bayview Community Elementary School will be no more.

      On Wednesday (June 19), the Kitsilano neighbourhood school will be open to everyone wanting to reminisce.

      Visitors are welcome to have a “roaming tour”. Memorabilia will be on display at the gym. The Live History Theatre group will bring back to life historical characters in the community. Refreshments will be for sale.

      The open house begins 3 p.m. and ends 7 p.m. at the Vancouver school located at 2251 Collingwood Street.

      Bayview is going to be demolished for a new earthquake-safe school.

      Considered as a historically significant landmark in Vancouver, Bayview was built in 1913.

      The school was in the 2016 Top 10 watch list of Heritage Vancouver Society.

      Heritage Vancouver described Bayview as a “historically significant landmark”.

      “Built in 1913-14 in the Classical Revival style, it is one of Vancouver’s most impressive Edwardian-era elementary schools,” according to the group.

      Heritage Vancouver recalled that Bayview was originally designed by J.H. Bowman in 1912 as Gordon School.

      Moreover, it was “one of the large new brick schools built for the South Vancouver School Board to accommodate the area’s growing population”.

      “It was enlarged in 1929 to the designs of prominent local architects Townley & Matheson,” according to Heritage Vancouver.

      The group noted that the “lack of adequate provincial funding is the main reason the Vancouver School Board gives for not being able to retain heritage schools during the seismic mitigation process”.

      “The cost of upgrading the schools is inflated, because for years the Vancouver School Board has deferred maintenance on these schools,” Heritage Vancouver stated. “The School Board also claims that old schools are inadequate and outdated for today’s educational needs. The result is that in most cases, existing heritage facilities are abandoned for replacement schools.”

      The new school is expected to open in 2021.

      During construction, students will be bussed to Queen Elizabeth Elementary School, and Queen Elizabeth Annex.