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4885 Saint John Paul II Way
Vancouver, BC V5Z 0G3
Archdiocese of Vancouver moves to green-certified building
After nearly 60 years in Vancouver’s downtown core, the Archdiocese of Vancouver last February moved its administrative offices to the 33rd and Willow area on the site of a “Campus of Care” being developed by Providence Health Care.
The administrative headquarters of the Catholic Church in the Lower Mainland, along with more than 100 full- and part-time employees and the many ministries and services such as the Catholic independent school board, Service and Justice, B.C. Catholic newspaper and Youth Ministry, now work from the new John Paul II Pastoral Centre on Monday, March 2.
The four-storey building is on a newly named Saint John Paul II Way, southeast of B.C. Children’s and Women’s Hospital.
The former St. Vincent’s Hospital stood on the site for 65 years until it was closed in 2004, its health services relocated to other sites run by Providence Health Care, one of the largest faith-based health-care organizations in Canada.
The Archdiocese occupied its Yaletown location, 150 Robson St., from 1958, when it moved into a converted warehouse formerly owned by Northern Electric Co. Archdiocesan officials said the old building, built in the 1920s, was no longer suitable for use as administrative headquarters for the Archdiocese.
In addition to needing a great deal of maintenance, repairs and upgrades, its original warehouse design meant space was inefficiently utilized. Parking in the area also frequently posed a challenge.
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, said the current structure had out-served its purpose and it was time to find a long-term home elsewhere in Vancouver. “It is important that the Church’s administrative offices remain centrally located in Vancouver, but the existing building can no longer adequately serve the needs of the community or the Archdiocese,” said the Archbishop.
The new pastoral centre is more central geographically to the rest of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, which has more than 120 churches and schools extending as far east as Hope.
In addition to being purpose-built as an office building, it is handicap accessible, something the old building lacked. The building is also environmentally friendly and linked to the City of Vancouver’s district energy system, said Archbishop Miller.
“We consciously chose to seek Gold certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system in order to be as environmentally responsible as we could and practice good stewardship in how we use our resources,” Archbishop Miller said.
The John Paul II Pastoral Centre is a LEED-certified building, 100% wheelchair accessible, and a fragrance-free space.
The cost of the new pastoral centre was about $25 million, largely paid for through the sale of the old building to Amacon, a Vancouver real estate developer. No plans have been announced for the old pastoral centre, a designated heritage building.
The project also includes nine living residences for retired priests. With 17 retired priests, the Archdiocese has long sought ways to assist them in their retirement years. The residences were paid for by donations and other monies.
The Catholic Charities Men’s Hostel on the third floor will continue to operate at the Robson Street location until a new home is found. One of the conditions of the sale of the old building was that the purchaser provides a new hostel with the same square footage as the existing one on a new site in the same neighbourhood.
Building on the site where St. Vincent’s Hospital stood for 65 years, Providence Health Care in partnership with the Archdiocese of Vancouver, is furthering the legacy of care begun by The Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception. Providence Health Care is one of the largest faith-based health care organizations in Canada. They provide health care services in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health, The Provincial Health Services Authority, and the University of British Columbia. Providence Health Care operates 9 sites in Vancouver including St. Paul’s Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, Youville Residence, Marion Hospice, and St. Vincent Sites: Honoria Conway, Brock Fahrni Pavilion and Langara.
An integral part of Providence’s vision is the renewal and redevelopment of their residential care facilities. With the goal to consolidate services to better suit the needs of the elderly, building has commenced on the St. Vincent’s Hospital site … read more here
Phase Two: John Paul II Pastoral Centre
Anticipated construction beginning 2013 with anticipated completion spring 2015
This will be a 4-storey building with offices, hall, chancery, chapel, 9 seniors housing units, and underground parking for the Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of Vancouver. The retired priests’ housing units face Willow Street to the west with the building’s main entrance facing east. Important site features include steep grade changes on the west slope with a stand of mature evergreen trees that wrap the southwest corner of the site. This small woodland contributes to the creation of a quiet and peaceful environment separate from the office functions and use. With paths connecting to the wellness walkway, this quiet oasis will be accessible to the occupants, visitors, and … read more here
Shots of the construction site taken on Jan. 26, 2015