An incident at a university in B.C. has resulted in the closing of doors and cancelling of classes. According to a press release posted online, Emily Carr is closed until October 15, 2019 following an arson investigation by the Vancouver Police. The university is now working closely with police officials to investigate the situation.
While for students this might be an extra few days off, the reality of the investigation is alarming because the closure is due to an ongoing police investigation into a fire that took place on campus.
According to a press release posted online by Emily Carr, police believe that this fire was deliberately set by an unknown person that broke into the campus. It is believed that the fire was set on the morning of October 5, 2019.
The university is going to remain closed throughout the Thanksgiving long weekend and into next week. Classes are expected to resume on October 15, 2019.
According to the university, there is limited damage from the fire and the sprinkler system. “We are grateful that it is not more extensive,” says the University web site.
The areas affected by the fire are the Research and Industry Office and Painting and Drawing studios on the university's fourth level. There is also some water damage in other areas of the building.
Thankfully only a few personal artworks were affected by the fire and water damage.
In order to get the school up and running again for October 15, cleaning is being conducted. This includes removing all standing water, ensuring air quality is healthy, replacing fire sprinkler heads, and testing the electrical, fire safety, and security systems to confirm that they are working.
Some of the classrooms that have been impacted the most are not yet safe to use. Emily Carr has stated that these areas will be unavailable “for some time” until the work is finished.
The university has also stated that by the time classes have resumed next Tuesday, most areas of the school will be opened and accessible.
While this is an unintentional break for students, it doesn't mean they won't have to make up the lost work. According to Emily Carr, classes missed during the time off will be rescheduled during the assessment period at the end of the semester.
“We assure you that nothing is more important to us than the safety of our community. We’re reviewing our security protocol to see what can be learned from this incident,” said the press release.
Emily Carr also recently made the news for being one of the only schools to close during the worldwide Greta Thunberg climate strike.
*A Vancouver man was arrested on Friday, October 11 and is facing charges including arson. On Tuesday, October 15 the campus reopened.
*Editor's Note: This article has been updated.