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Christian school makes plans to lease Plymouth elementary

Plymouth school, located in the Seymour area, was last occupied in June 2010. - Maria Spitale-Leisk photo
Plymouth school, located in the Seymour area, was last occupied in June 2010.
— image credit: Maria Spitale-Leisk photo

Shuttered Plymouth elementary in the Seymour area may soon hear the sound of children's laughter once again.

The North Vancouver Board of Education has chosen Lions Gate Christian Academy as the lead proponent to occupy the Plymouth school site.

Lions Gate Christian Academy, along with Darwin Construction and Polygon Homes, was short-listed in December by the school board, which had been mulling either selling or leasing the Plymouth property. On Jan. 22, the board announced it would proceed with a letter of intent and lease negotiations with LGCA.

LGCA principal Terry Kooy breathed a sigh of relief last week. The school's lease is up at the end of June and staff have been searching for a permanent home for the 328 students.

"We are celebrating because this has been a critical decision for the life of our school," Kooy told The Outlook last Thursday.

LGCA, which has a 20-year history on the North Shore, had spent the past few years in a modular school building in the Harbourside area. And while the Christian school has seen a steady increase in population over the years, according to Kooy, the plan is to house the existing kindergarden to Grade 12 program at Plymouth.

Highlighted in the proposal is a plan to mitigate traffic around Plymouth, which is nestled in a single-family residential neighborhood.

"The LGCA has developed a traffic management plan that includes an on-site drop-off area and increased use of busing to and from the school site to help reduce with traffic," said North Vancouver School District superintendent John Lewis.

As for why the school district decided to lease instead of sell Plymouth — which as of July 2013 was assessed at $9.99 million — Lewis said the building still has reuse value.

Meanwhile, LGCA is no stranger to the North Vancouver School District, having leased Maplewood elementary for six years back in the early 2000s.

Following a 90-day due diligence period, LGCA should learn by April if they have been approved to move to Plymouth.

mspitale@northshoreoutlook.com





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