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Lansdowne Mall 'optimal' site for new Richmond school

SD38's long-term plan is to have a new school in Richmond city centre by 2033.
A phased development is being proposed at the Lansdowne Shopping Centre site.

The site of the current Lansdowne Centre would be an “optimal” place for a new school in about a decade.

At a facilities update to the Richmond board of education on Wednesday, Frank Geyer, CEO of facilities services with SD38, said there have been discussions with the City of Richmond planning department and the developer, Vanprop, about a possible site for a school at the mall, which will be redeveloped over 20 years to include about 4,000 residential units and about 8,000 to 10,000 residents.

Four sites within the 50-acre Lansdowne property were identified, but the spot where the mall is currently situated is the optimal place, Geyer explained.

Lansdowne Mall will be rezoned in phases and Geyer said during this rezoning process there will be a number of opportunities to negotiate for a school site.

Then the school district will have to ask the Ministry of Education for capital funding to build the school.

“Everything is aligning nicely with our plans,” Geyer said.

The Ministry of Education has indicated to the school district, however, that they should first focus on expanding existing schools in city centre, for example, Brighouse, Talmey and Cook elementary schools.

A new school is also planned for Dover Park where the school district owns a site.

The long-range facilities plan, made public in 2019, stated a new school would be needed in city centre in 2033.