Vancouver condo tower plan revisions boost campaign to keep schools open

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      Changes to a planned condo tower may help save two East Vancouver schools from closure.

      Ian Gillespie of Westbank Projects Corp. has informed the school board of amendments to his company’s rezoning application for a property adjacent to Joyce-Collingwood Station.

      According to Gillespie, the revisions will produce a condo building with the highest percentage of family units in the city.

      In a letter to board chair Mike Lombardi and superintendent of schools Scott Robinson, the developer cited the “potential of school closures in the vicinity” as reason for providing this information. He did not mention specific schools.

      Carleton and Graham Bruce elementary schools are located near the Westbank development. These are two of the 12 elementary and secondary schools on the preliminary list of facilities to be considered for closure.

      Westbank is proposing to build a 30-storey tower with 256 units. Its original application indicated that 45 percent of these new homes will be two-bedroom and three-bedroom units, which are suitable for families with children.

      In his letter, Gillespie wrote that the number of family units will be increased to 65 percent, two-thirds of the entire development.

      Gillespie urged the school board to consider these changes as well as future developments in the area.

      B.C. NDP MLA Adrian Dix is working with parents and students to save not only Carleton and Graham Bruce elementary schools, but also Gladstone secondary, all located in his Vancouver-Kingsway constituency.

      Dix told the Georgia Straight that Westbank’s move to build the most family-oriented condo development in this part of the city is a boost to the campaign.