Skip to content

New $64 million elementary school in North Van to be built on former Cloverley site

New school to open in 2026 with space for 585 students and a childcare centre

Five years after the North Vancouver school district put a new elementary school at the top of its priority list, the province announced Friday construction will start next year on a new $64 million school on the site of the former Cloverley Elementary.

The long-awaited announcement was made by Education Minister Rachna Singh Friday morning at North Vancouver’s Ridgeway Elementary.

The province will spend $61 million towards the new school which will be built on the site of the former school at Cloverley Street and Hendry Avenue, while the North Vancouver School District will kick in another $3 million, funded out of surplus. The new school will have a capacity of 585 students and will include a childcare centre that will potentially supply up to 100 childcare and after-school spaces. The City of North Vancouver is contributing funding of $3.5 million towards construction of the childcare space within the new school.

Construction of the new school is expected to start in the fall of 2024. The school is expected to open two years later, in time for the 2026/27 school year.

Since 2018, a plan to build a new elementary school on the site of the long-closed Cloverley Elementary has topped the wish list for the North Vancouver School District. Nearby schools have been dealing with large increases in enrolment over the past five years as young families move into the area.

Ridgeway Elementary is one of the schools in central area of the City of North Vancouver which has borne the brunt of increased enrolment in the school district. Enrolment at Ridgeway has jumped from about 326 students 10 years ago to 673 students today.

North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma said the need for a new elementary school in North Vancouver is something she’s been hearing about since she was first elected.

“We all know the population here is fast growing,” she said. “People are choosing to raise their families here.”

In the spring of 2020, a new Cloverley Elementary was one of only seven new schools given approval in principle by the province and earmarked for further review – seen as a positive sign.

But huge increases in construction costs which tripled the estimated price of the new school – from $21.6 million five years ago to over $64 million today – resulted in additional reviews by the province.

Ridgeway isn’t the only school in the area at or near capacity. There are currently 31 portables providing additional classroom space in the school district. Most of that enrolment growth has been in the central area of the city, said North Vancouver Superintendent of Schools Pius Ryan, with a lot of that growth fuelled by immigration.

Ryan said the new Cloverley school will address many of the current overcrowding problems in the school district.

Another new 465-student elementary school in the Lower Lonsdale area is still on the school district’s wish list, however, to address future enrolment needs.

Singh said that is a situation being faced all over the Lower Mainland, as B.C. absorbs a significant portion of the federal government’s increased immigration targets. The province is looking at solutions, she said, including considering “out of the box” ideas.

At the announcement Friday, Ma pointed out that Cloverley will be the fifth recent major school capital project in North Vancouver.

In the last year and a half, rebuilds of both Argyle and Handsworth high schools in North Vancouver have been completed, along with a seismic upgrade of Mountainside Secondary, which houses the school district’s alternative programs.

Most recently, in December 2022, the province approved a $9 million expansion to Lynn Valley Elementary that will add six classrooms and space for 145 more students. The expansion will allow the school to stop using four portables currently providing temporary classroom space at the school.

It’s still expected to take more than three years for the Lynn Valley Elementary expansion to be completed, with construction set to wrap in the winter or spring of 2026.

[email protected]