VANCOUVER (April 26, 2019)—BC Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Langara Michael Lee is calling for changes to the proposed plan for the Eric Hamber Secondary School.
“The plan as it stands would not be able to meet the growing needs of future students and their families in our community,” says Lee. “If executed, the plan will lead to a reduction in opportunities for current and future students.”
The plan includes a reduction in gym space by 19 percent and a reduction in its existing outdoor spaces. These reductions may mean some athletic teams will not be able continue to run their programs at full capacity, which would be a huge hit to the successful athletic program that Hamber has developed.
Further, the plan calls for the elimination of the auditorium and multi-purpose space which is integral to the school’s music, choir, dance, theatre and fashion programs. These cuts come at a time when the school needs to expand given the densification of the surrounding neighbourhood as more people come to the area to live and raise their families.
“I have heard from many concerned students, teachers, parents, alumni and other community members regarding the proposed plan for the school and how any decreases will affect the quality of education the students currently receive,” says Lee. “Eric Hamber is a vibrant and central part of our community. Government needs to be thinking more broadly and longer-term about how best to ensure our schools meet the needs of the communities and students they serve. Without proper funding students and the community members will suffer.”
John Horgan and the NDP need to press pause on the plan. They need to listen to students, teachers, parents, alumni, community members and other stakeholders. They need to go back to the drawing board with the Vancouver School Board to develop a plan that will ensure Hamber can continue to thrive today and over the long-term.