Plans underway to rebuild St. Michaels Junior School

Victoria Avenue building stands to be levelled in favour of new digs

Renovations have been a long time coming at St. Michaels University’s Junior School, but the end is near for staff and students working in the dated space, which school officials say is not fit to the demands of today’s model of collaborative education.

The 1959 building was last updated in 1997 and the independent school says a long-overdue facelift is in order – most likely in the form of a complete tear-down and new building construction.

“Because it’s a 1950s building, it doesn’t really suit the kind of education we’re trying to give our kids these days,” said Laura Authier, director of marketing and communications for St. Michaels University School. “The issues we’re dealing with are primarily around space.”

The smaller classrooms aren’t conducive to the 21st century learning, now mandated by the province, she added, noting poor lighting and a lack of meeting space also came into play. In January the school hosted a group of community members who voiced their concerns – mostly of parking, traffic and view – associated with the upcoming construction.

“So far (the neighbours) have been really willing to work with us,” she said. “We’ve found the process really positive so far.”

St. Michaels hosts its second opportunity for the community to offer feedback during a community open house on May 27.

“It’s a long-term process and we know it’s about a year and a half, at least, before any construction can begin. There are a lot of steps to go through and we want to make sure we do this properly.”

School officials hope to have the master plan completed within the next six months, though no hard deadline has been set. Without a design, the project is also void of a budget at this point. There will likely be one last opportunity for the public to provide input, when the master plan is complete, before St. Michaels brings a proposal to Oak Bay council.

“We want to make sure that we address all of the issues that come up from the community as we go, so we can factor them in to our final plan,” Authier added.

Elements of possible design features will be revealed at the open house, which runs from 3:30 to 7 p.m. May 27 at St. Michaels Junior School, 820 Victoria Ave.

Just Posted

Final key components for Johnson Street Bridge installed this weekend in Victoria

Dynamic Beast crane barge arrives back in town on Friday

Metchosin supports moving to three-year municipal term

Some councillors say four years is too much of a commitment

Police seek owner of sailboat beached in Oak Bay

Residents reminded to steer clear of the vessel

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Most Read