Emily Carr University closed until Oct. 15 due to suspected arson


People stand outside the new Emily Carr University of Art and Design campus in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday September 1, 2017. The university campus remains closed today following a small fire Saturday morning. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Vancouver campus of Emily Carr University of Art + Design will remain closed until Tues. Oct. 15 following a small fire that authorities believe may have been deliberately set.

The blaze was spotted early Saturday morning after a suspected break-in.

According to the school, there was limited damage from the fire and the sprinkler system.

“The areas most impacted are the Research and Industry Office and Painting and Drawing studios on Level 4. There is also some water damage in other areas of the building. Fortunately, very few personal effects or artworks were affected,” notes the campus in an online update.

Since the Saturday break-in and fire, clean-up has progressed in the affected areas.

“We have removed all standing water, ensured air quality is healthy, replaced fire sprinkler heads, and tested the electrical, fire safety and security systems to confirm that they are fully functioning.”

However, due to safety concerns, workspaces and classrooms remain unavailable for use and instruction, prompting the cancellation of classes until Tues. Oct. 15, following the Oct. 14 Thanksgiving holiday. Missed classes will be made up at the end of the semester.

“We are working closely with the VPD to assist the investigation in any way we can. Anyone with information helpful to the investigation is asked to contact the VPD or Crime Stoppers,” notes ECU.

The university, founded in 1925 and granted university status in 2008, is the only post-secondary institution in B.C. dedicated solely to professional education and learning in the arts, media and design.

Almost 2,000 students are currently enrolled in courses leading to bachelors or masters degrees, while about the same number of full- and part-time students are in the certificate and continuing studies programs.

With files from The Canadian Press