The Covered Area Committee would like to clarify a few points raised in the article:
The BC Ministry of Education’s Area Standards state that a covered area can be built in schools with annual precipitation levels above 2000mm (North Vancouver surpasses that), so covered areas can be built within the school build capital budget.
There have been many expenditures made by the North Vancouver School District (NVSD) that do not fall directly under "focusing on seismically safe schools.” Note: we are not faulting any of the expenditures whatsoever, we are just pointing out that while seismic upgrades are a very important focus; it has not been the NVSD’s only focus. Seismic upgrades and building schools that meet the children’s needs are not mutually exclusive; both can be accomplished.
In the case of the new Highlands school building, extensive concrete planters were built, but not covered play areas. Many see the planters as the “nice to haves” and covered areas as an integral part of a school build, given North Vancouver’s rainforest climate.
The cost to build a shelter after a school build is significant and would be much less if built during the school build. A policy is needed to ensure that covered areas are included in all future builds. Additionally a policy needs to be created to help the schools that had their covered areas taken away.