Programs that are run in Langara’s main building may soon be moving

Departments anxious to learn where they will be relocated

A cyclist parking his bike at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Photo by Kurtis Gregory
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Reported by Kurtis Gregor

Update and clarification: While the demolition of Building A is being considered, other options, such as renovation and remediation, are also on the table. In Langara College’s September 2016 expression of interest to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation indicates that moving to the soon-to-be vacated Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s Granville Island campus is due to the need to “decommission and vacate” Building A in the future.

With Langara College’s Building A soon to be demolished or vacated for seismic upgrading, the fine arts department is slated to move to Granville Island.

Emily Carr University of Art + Design is moving from its current space on the south tip of the island to a new campus near Great Northern Way.   Langara expressed interest in the space in September 2016 to relocate the occupants of Building A.

Tomo Tanaka, division chair for creative arts, is anxious for a decision to be made soon. It is unclear what will happen to other departments within the creative arts division currently housed in Building A.

The department wants time to address some of the logistical issues that arise from splitting the campus in two, such as how to transport faculty and students between the main campus on W 49 Ave. and Granville Island.

Tanaka says they have already thought of tentative solutions, which could include bringing the teachers back and forth instead of students.

“There was talk about getting that tramway from the Olympic Village to Granville Island that they ran during the Olympics,” Tanaka said.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is vetting bids for the space, but recommendations on who will move into the structures will be determined by the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education. Granville Island is federally-owned land, but the Emily Carr campus buildings are owned by the provincial government.

The Ministry could not confirm where negotiations for the space stand, only that the new tenant would have to be a “public, non-profit organization or body,” and that they “would result in the continuation of creative and performing arts on Granville Island.”

According to Lisa Ono, CMHC’s manager of public affairs for Granville Island, the vacant north building will be used for a wide variety of creative activities, with the Arts Club Theatre Company expressing interest.

“The intent is for it to be a public space,” Ono said.

The video shows a time lapsed journey of a typical bike commute from Langara Campus to Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Transit options between the two campuses are limited. It took our reporter 31 minutes to get from bike rack to bike rack. Video by Kurtis Gregory

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