Empty Vancouver school annexes to be leased

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      There is a lot of interest in renting properties owned by the Vancouver school board.

      “We’ll have no trouble leasing space, and we’ll get some revenue,” board chair Mike Lombardi told the Straight by phone.

      Lombardi mentioned Vancouver Coastal Health and the francophone school board of B.C., a public school board, as among those wanting to rent available Vancouver school properties.

      Lombardi said he expects the Vancouver school board to formally close Chief Maquinna Annex elementary school (2882 East 4th Avenue) in June this year. The East Vancouver annex didn’t open this school year because remaining students’ parents decided to move their children to the main school.

      “I call it an attrition closure,” he said. It’s not connected with the board’s ongoing process to develop a long-range facilities plan to achieve a districtwide capacity-utilization rate of 95 percent by 2030.

      Parents of students at Henderson Annex (801 East 54th Avenue) have registered their kids in other schools for the next school year. Lombardi said he has heard of plans by parents to take their children out of Sir Wilfrid Laurier Annex (590 West 65th Avenue).

      The current board has a standing policy not to sell entire school properties.