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June 30, 2022

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Old Lieser School set for demolition

Site to be used for affordable housing, fire station, social service classrooms

By , Columbian Innovation Editor
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The old Lieser School is set for demolition to make way for a new fire station, affordable housing units, social services classrooms and a new park, according to the Vancouver Housing Authority.
The old Lieser School is set for demolition to make way for a new fire station, affordable housing units, social services classrooms and a new park, according to the Vancouver Housing Authority. (The Columbian files) Photo Gallery

The old Lieser School is set for demolition to make way for a new fire station, affordable housing units, social services classrooms and a new park, according to the Vancouver Housing Authority.

In January, the Vancouver Housing Authority purchased the 8.42-acre Lieser Campus, 301 S. Lieser Road, for $2,658,800 from Vancouver Public Schools. It also purchased a 0.76-acre parking lot near the Patricia Nierenberg Child Care Center and the 1.71-acre Lieser Neighborhood Park.

The site will be subdivided, and the west side of the property will become the site of a new fire station after the Vancouver Housing Authority sells it to the city of Vancouver, according to Jeff Lane, development project manager for the Vancouver Housing Authority. It will replace an existing fire station on Mill Plain Boulevard.

A section to the east will be split for two purposes: multifamily affordable housing units run by the Vancouver Housing Authority, although the number of units isn’t determined yet, Lane said. The other section will be sold to the social services organization Educational Opportunities for Children and Families and developed into offices, classrooms and central kitchen space. Most of the space is an empty lot.

“We don’t have building plans or anything to share as far as design right now,” Lane said. “We have a very rough timeline for the project.”

The Vancouver Housing Authority presented the first draft of plans to the Vancouver Heights Neighborhood Association on Thursday and is seeking feedback on the plans as it begins public outreach. The Vancouver Housing Authority plans to open up a survey and allow input on the city’s beheardvancouver.org website early next month.

The Lieser Neighborhood Park will become a city-owned park.

“The plan is to sell that portion to the city of Vancouver Parks Department so they can maintain it and redesign it.”

There’s no plan to change the surface parking lot right near the child care center, he said.

“Based on the early community engagement efforts, community members have been curious about how much of the existing green space will be preserved. It will be a change for the neighborhood in regard to how the property has looked historically, so we’re conscious of that,” Lane said. “One of the primary goals of the community engagement effort is to shape our development plan based on the feedback we receive, so it’s a question we’ve anticipated and is important feedback that will help inform the proposed design in the future.”

By the end of the year, the city plans to demolish the Lieser School, which opened as an elementary school in 1944 to accommodate the children of shipyard workers during World War II.

The neighborhood association’s next meeting is in April, when a more detailed plan will be presented, according to Lane. Its time as an elementary school ended in 1992, then becoming a spot for early childhood education programs.

The Lieser School most recently held the Vancouver Virtual Learning Academy, which moved to the new Heights Campus at 6450 MacArthur Blvd. No programs are running out of the Lieser School currently.

According to the Vancouver Public Schools website, the school has become aged and outgrown.

“Water leaks are evident throughout the facility and have damaged walls. The windows are in disrepair, and the heating and ventilation system is antiquated,” the website states.

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