Above: Renderings of the new school, which will be located behind the current Fort Vancouver Regional Library Operations Center
It’s official: Vancouver Public Schools’ forthcoming elementary school now has a name. Vancouver Innovation, Technology and Arts Elementary School was selected after students, staff members, families and community members made more than 800 suggestions over two weeks in May.
The final name was suggested by Vancouver student Seneca Christie, who noted that the acronym, VITA, is the Latin word for “life.” Wrote Christie, “Isn’t the main point of school to bring your ideas to life? Personally, I think that the idea of having an elementary school with such a powerful name is wonderful, because elementary school students are so full of life that it would be wonderful to be able to display that to the community.”
Vancouver Public Schools’ board of directors selected the name at its June 25 meeting.
The new school will focus on opportunities for students to innovate through project-based learning and the arts. VITA will enroll approximately 500 students in kindergarten through fifth grades.
The four-story school will be located behind the current Fort Vancouver Regional Library Operations Center. VPS plans to begin construction in January 2020 and anticipates that VITA will open in fall 2021.
Construction is paid for through a bond measure that voters approved in February 2017. Although VPS will construct only the school, the vision and master plan for the campus imagine the space as a hub of community life that also includes a preschool, center for the performing arts and other spaces for business and community use.