Vancouver School Board finds temporary classrooms after elementary school's pipes freeze and burst

Sir James Douglas Elementary School flooded over the Christmas week. Crews were in on Thursday to attempt to fix the damage. (Justine Boulin/CBC - image credit)
Sir James Douglas Elementary School flooded over the Christmas week. Crews were in on Thursday to attempt to fix the damage. (Justine Boulin/CBC - image credit)

The Vancouver School Board (VSB) says it has worked to find desks for more than 500 students after flooding at an elementary school put the building out of commission for a number of months.

School board staff said water pipes at Sir James Douglas Elementary in South Vancouver froze and burst during the recent cold weather, causing extensive flooding.

VSB said staff searched for an alternate location for the school's approximately 525 enrolled students.

"The district recognizes this extenuating circumstance is challenging for staff, students and families," a spokesperson wrote in an email to CBC on Wednesday.

"It is our top priority to get the Douglas school community settled into a temporary school location as quickly as possible."

Justine Boulin/CBC
Justine Boulin/CBC

Calling the damage to the school "significant," the school board said the hired restoration company estimates it will take "at least a couple of months" of repair work before students can safely attend classes in the building.

Parents were told about the flooding Tuesday.

"We are working as fast as possible, however, there are many complexities to consider," the spokesperson wrote.

 

The school board said Friday it has found temporary locations for students in neighbouring schools. Students in the school's English program will be relocated to Moberly Elementary and Trudeau Elementary, both of which are within walking distance of where Douglas families live.

French immersion students will be relocated to the South Hill swing space.

Douglas students were set to return from winter break on Tuesday, but classes will now resume Thursday, the school board said.

Kera McArthur, chair of the school's parent advisory committee, said the PAC was "committed to working with our school team to support our children, teachers and staff through this challenging situation."