University Highlands Elementary School

On September 7th, 2010, UniverCity’s youngsters attended their first day of classes at the new University Highlands Elementary School. Located in the heart of UniverCity, the school is an exciting addition to the model sustainable community being developed here on Burnaby Mountain.

With one in four new Burnaby residents making their home at UniverCity, there are a growing number of families on Burnaby Mountain and they now have an innovative elementary school within walking distance of their homes. Space is provided for 40 Kindergarten and 275 elementary students. Currently the school has 195 students enrolled.

Check out a video peek below of resident first-grader Kai Levin’s first day at University Highlands.

The school features a curriculum focused on sustainability and community involvement. Teachers will take advantage of opportunities in the surrounding UniverCity community and on the adjacent Simon Fraser University campus to help students learn about their impact on the local and global environment.

University Highlands Elementary School was funded through a partnership between the Trust, the Burnaby Board of Education, the BC Ministry of Education, and the City of Burnaby, and occupies a repurposed and expanded former university building. This renovated building has been given an extensive seismic upgrade and brought up to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Gold standards. The school was designed to be the province’s first LEED™ Gold school renovation. Over 75 per cent of the existing structure was retained. Notable additions include extensive energy efficiency upgrades, water-efficient landscaping, an outdoor amphitheatre and classrooms, and smart meter systems that allow the students to learn about and control the building’s energy and water systems.

During non-school hours, space in the building will accommodate city-run community programming for local residents.

View a tour of the new facility with principal Lori Driussi by checking out the Global TV feature on the new school that aired September 10th, 2010.

University Highlands Elementary is an important addition to UniverCity. Earlier this year, Nesters Market, a full-service grocery store and pharmacy, opened, joining restaurants, cafes, daycare services, cultural and athletic activities offered at SFU, and unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area — all of which combine to make UniverCity a truly unique and remarkable community.