5025 Willow St development application

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We would like your feedback on a development application at 5025 Willow St (Hamber Secondary school). BIRD Design-Build Construction Inc. on behalf of The Board of Education of School District No. 39 has applied to the City of Vancouver for permission to develop this site, consisting of:

  • A new four-storey secondary school, approximately 18,800 m², to replace the existing facility
  • Supporting grades 8 to 12 (1700 students) and a 69 space childcare centre (funded by the City of Vancouver) on the roof level
  • The existing school is to remain operational during construction of the new facility
  • The existing school shall also serve as a swing school for other school projects and will be demolished when the other schools are complete

Under the site’s existing RS-1 zoning, the application is conditional so it may be permitted. However, it requires the decision of the Director of Planning.

In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), an extended online question and answer (Q&A) period was held in place of an in-person open house for this project.


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We would like your feedback on a development application at 5025 Willow St (Hamber Secondary school). BIRD Design-Build Construction Inc. on behalf of The Board of Education of School District No. 39 has applied to the City of Vancouver for permission to develop this site, consisting of:

  • A new four-storey secondary school, approximately 18,800 m², to replace the existing facility
  • Supporting grades 8 to 12 (1700 students) and a 69 space childcare centre (funded by the City of Vancouver) on the roof level
  • The existing school is to remain operational during construction of the new facility
  • The existing school shall also serve as a swing school for other school projects and will be demolished when the other schools are complete

Under the site’s existing RS-1 zoning, the application is conditional so it may be permitted. However, it requires the decision of the Director of Planning.

In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), an extended online question and answer (Q&A) period was held in place of an in-person open house for this project.


View all documents



The virtual open house has concluded. Please use the “Send your comments” tab or contact the Project Facilitator directly for any further feedback. Thank you for participating.

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    As I see no representation of those with mobility challenges, especially those that use wheelchairs, I am wondering how they access the environment and if any thought has been given to universal design.

    D Asked 19 days ago

    Based on the Vancouver Building By-Law and the Vancouver School District requirements, the building interior and exterior will be designed and built to be accessible throughout. Some accessibility features of the current design include an elevator located on the North East side of the building, lay-by spaces located near the east entrance doors to facilitate access for students with challenges that require specialized transportation, an accessibility ramp leading up to the main entrance, a slopped walkway leading up to the existing playfield on the south side of the site, as well as accessible washrooms and change rooms.

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    I continue to hear concerns by the stakeholders on 2 key issues: 1) what are the planning around the traffic congestion that will be inevitable due to two secondary schools on the site 2) concerns about being on that corner of the land where there are known water issues in the soil. On this second point, what has testing has the City done / reviewed to ensure this won’t be an issue during or after the build? Thank you

    al2020 Asked 16 days ago
    1. Transportation Planning is reviewing the traffic consultant’s required submissions.  Engineering has been working on these requirements for several years during the Project Definition Report (PDR) stage of the proposal.  Pick-up and drop-off for the new school includes spots on W 33rd and 30 spaces on the site (21 PUDO + 9 daycare).  Pick-up/drop-off for the daycare is right in front of the east doors. Parking and loading reviews are pending from the Engineering Branch.  Traffic on Willow from the swing site school will limited to pick-up drop off on the west side of Willow St, W 37th and W 33rd Ave with staggered start/end times for the new and existing school. Additionally, applicant will be providing 114 staff parking spaces and a fulsome Transportation Demand Management Plan to reduce the schools vehicle parking demand.

    2. Submission of a hydrologic report was a requirement of the submission.  This report is being reviewed by City staff.
      Structural and geotechnical engineers will submit required reports and designs to meet the conditions identified by Engineering staff, if approved by the Director of Planning.
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    Where can we view all questions submitted and the responses given, please?

    al2020 Asked 16 days ago

    All questions and answers may be viewed under the questions tab, where this inquiry was made. Questions are posted publicly when the answers are available to complete the communication. 

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    Will there be an opportunity to make comments?

    Ingrid Asked 18 days ago

    At the bottom of the web page there are 2 tabs, 'Ask A Question' and 'Send Your Comments'. Please select 'Send Your Comments' and share your comments of the project through this forum. 

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    Why is the new school foot print so much smaller than the existing school foot print, while expecting to service more students in the future. Why is the new school site on the site that was rejected for the VSB offices many years ago due to unsound foundation? I remember the track had to be refurbished many times due to water issues. While the federal and provincial governments are promoting trades and technology, why has the existing district fashion program space been reduced to about 25% of its present size? "saying that it is the ministry standard" does not justify the destruction of a important niche program. It is the only secondary school program that produced 3 Team Canada members that competed successfully in Worldskills Fashion Technology competitions. As well as prepared numerous students for their post-secondary journey in fashion design all over the world. Trades/Technology is beyond computers, hands-on application is a critical aspect of these areas, lack of skills, safe and functional space inhibits creativity and productivity

    Nina Asked 16 days ago

    The Ministry has provincial area standards for classroom sizes that allow for effective and safe teaching spaces. The overall size of the replacement school is determined using the area standards, set by the Ministry of Education. These area standards are available publicly online on the Ministry of Education website. [gov.bc.ca]

    The school will be designed to make the best use of the space to support teaching and learning.


    A number of geotechnical investigations has been carried out at the Hamber Secondary site. All geotechnical considerations have been taken into account in the design of the new building. 


    The Ministry has provincial area standards for classroom sizes that allow for effective and safe teaching spaces; this includes for the fashion/textile program. The overall size of the replacement school is determined using the area standards, set by the Ministry of Education. These area standards are available publicly online on the Ministry of Education website. [gov.bc.ca]

    The school will be designed to make the best use of the space to support teaching and learning.