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Three schools targeted for closure in Richmond

Last Updated Sep 16, 2016 at 10:16 pm PST

Dixon Elementary (Googlemaps)

A superintendent's report is recommending Dixon, Woodward and McKay elementary schools be closed in Richmond next year.

Parents shocked and distressed that three schools in Richmond have been recommended for closure.

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – A superintendent’s report is recommending three elementary schools be closed in Richmond next year.

Those three schools are Woodward, McKay and Dixon.

The report comes a year after the district began its assessment of the future of 16 schools in Richmond.

Kelly Greene is with the group Richmond Stands United and says the potential closures don’t take growth into account, particularly in the neighbourhood surrounding Woodward elementary.

“They are literally in the process of building a big townhouse and condo development a five minute walk from Woodward. Densification is planned for that area. I think it’s short-sighted.”

The superintendent’s report spells out why the district is considering closing schools, including declining enrolment in some areas where schools are clustered together, and increasing enrolment in growing neighbourhoods. Plus the province has stipulated a school should be at 95 per cent capacity to access seismic upgrade funding.

Greene says she can’t believe Dixon elementary is on the list.

“On behalf of the Dixon parents, I’m very shocked and distressed. That school was over 100 per cent capacity.”

Dixon’s French immersion stream would be separated into one school and the English students to another.

Trustees will have the ultimate say in the future of the three schools. Their vote takes place October 17.

Parents will be gathering for a protest in front of MLA John Yap’s office at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.