Frequently asked questions
Why does the site need to be redeveloped?
The City of Vancouver’s The West End Community Plan, developed in 2013, calls for significant growth of amenity spaces to accommodate growing population projections for the area. VSB’s Long Range Facilities Plan also indicates the need for redevelopment of King George Secondary School (KGSS), to address growing student numbers. The redevelopment of the WECH site is therefore a key component of City and Vancouver Board of Education’s plans for delivering needed public benefits to the community.
How will the King George Secondary School be affected?
As King George Secondary is the smallest secondary school in the District, with space for 375 students, the District is committed to building a safer, larger and modern learning environment to better serve the educational programming needs of students and the broader West End community. This collaborative effort is supported by the project partners, school administration staff and students.
How does this project relate to the West End Community Plan?
The redevelopment of the WECH site is important to delivering the goals set out in the City’s West End Community Plan to renew existing facilities and support other much needed community services. Public benefits include a renewed civic centre comprising a community centre, library, ice rink, and outdoor green space, along with planned new amenities on site potentially including seniors’ services, child care, a 4-bay fire hall, and housing.
How will decisions regarding the West End Community Hub be made?
Project partners and consultants will work closely with key community groups to understand the diverse community perspectives and identify space needs of the West End neighbourhood. Our W.E. Connect process ensures community input will be considered at every step of the project process and will help project partners make better decisions that reflect the needs and desires of the community.
How do I get involved?
There will be many opportunities to provide input throughout the planning process. We will be using a variety of digital tools (like Shape Your City and online events) while social distancing measures are in place. We hope to organize more in-person engagement opportunities when health measures allow us to gather safely in larger groups.
How are you managing engagement and COVID-19?
We value the safety of the West End community and acknowledge that COVID-19 has changed the way we are able to interact with each other. In the interest of residents’ comfort and safety, project partners are offering a number of virtual and in-person events to support involvement in the renewal project. All in-person events will be in compliance with the latest direction of the Provincial Health Officer. Consistent with provincial public health direction, proof of vaccination is not required for civic engagement events with less than 50 participants and masks are mandatory in all public spaces.
We understand that some residents may still feel uncomfortable in indoor settings despite protocols we have in place for in-person events. Residents who do not feel comfortable with in-person events are encouraged to register for one of many virtual engagement sessions.
How are you reducing barriers for residents that do not have access to the internet?
We acknowledge that lack of internet or computer access can be a barrier to participation. Know someone who wants to attend but is unable to get online? Help is available! Please contact staff at the West End Community Centre or Joe Fortes Library in-person or by phone at 604-257-8333 for more details on how to participate in virtual events through your phone.
In addition, there are self-guided engagement boards throughout the West End for community members to learn about project information and provide written feedback.
How are you engaging equity-seeking groups?
We are committed to creating an equitable and inclusive engagement process. Communities including the 2SLGBTQ+, newcomers, seniors, and families with children make up strong and important parts of the West End neighbourhood. We have connected with a number of non-profit groups, including Gordon Neighbourhood House, QMUNITY and the West End Seniors Network, to receive feedback on the engagement process and adapt the approach as needed to ensure that voices from these groups are clearly represented throughout the process.