City of North Vancouver confirms September 28, 2015 for Ridgeway Annex Public Hearing
On Monday, July 13, 2015, North Vancouver City Council voted to proceed with a public hearing to review a potential amendment to the City’s official community plan. If approved, the amendment would effectively rezone the property at 450 East 5th Street, the site of the former Ridgeway Annex, to permit residential development on the .58 acre site. Ridgeway Annex was permanently closed in 2011 and is not considered viable as a future school site, as the small size of the land parcel does not meet current Ministry standards.
A conditional purchase agreement for the property, valued at $5.1 million, is in place between Anthem Properties and the North Vancouver School District. Proceeds from the sale would be directed to the remaining debt of $6.2 million to the Ministry of Education for the rebuilding of Sutherland Secondary and Westview Elementary.
The School District was able to undertake the replacement of Sutherland and Westview, in the City of North Vancouver, by borrowing $7.2M from the Ministry of Education—approved on the basis that the debt would be recovered through future surplus land sales. The balance of the debt must be paid back to the Provincial Government on or before December 31, 2015. Should the deadline pass without repayment, it is expected that the Ministry of Education will recover the funds from the School District’s operating budget.
For almost three years, the School District has been diligently working to gain approval from the Ministry of Education to convert the $40M seismic project for Argyle Secondary into a full replacement school at an estimated cost of $49.9M. This approval is contingent upon the earlier debts being repaid.
“Since 2004, renewal of our facilities in the City alone has resulted in a new Sutherland Secondary, a new Westview Elementary, a rebuilt Ridgeway Elementary, a new Carson Graham Secondary and a rebuilt Queen Mary Community School,” says North Vancouver Board of Education Chair Cyndi Gerlach. “Our local community benefits from all of these projects and the Board is committed to fully meeting its obligations to the Province and clearing the way towards a new Argyle Secondary.”
The public hearing is scheduled for Monday, September 28, 2015 at North Vancouver City Hall. Once confirmed, further details will be posted on the City of North Vancouver website.
More information about the Ridgeway Annex site is available here.
For further information, please contact:
North Vancouver School District