District kiboshes Oak Bay High garage sale

Liability concerns cancel End of an Era planned for Saturday (Aug. 1)

  • Jul. 30, 2015 11:00 a.m.

It was over before it began — literally.

The planned End of an Era sale at Oak Bay High was cancelled after school district staff determined on Wednesday that the event could not safely go ahead.

“We apologize for not getting that information out sooner,” said Tom Smith, director of facilities for the Greater Victoria School District.

“We have to follow certain protocols, first and foremost making sure it was done in a safe way,” Smith said, adding that school staff were trying to do the best job they could to try and successfully sell off relics from the old high school, which is being replaced by a new building this fall.

Smith was part of a walkthrough of the old Oak Bay High School on Wednesday — just as the July 29 edition of the Oak Bay News hit every door in Oak Bay with front-page news of the sale.

As the old gym was being inspected, concerns were raised about the wobbly stacks of desks, dim lighting and potentially dangerous items poking into the tight corridors between piled up items.

District staff made the difficult decision to cancel the sale originally planned for Aug. 1.

“There was no safe way to pull it off,” Smith said, pointing to concerns about someone getting hurt and exposing the board to a liability it wasn’t prepared to face.

Smith acknowledges that the timing could have been better and apologized to any alumni who hoped to attend the sale to secure a piece of their history.

Most anything of value will be repurposed for another school, Smith said, claiming there likely won’t be much left to sell off after all.

“We’re in the process of moving furniture from Oak Bay to our warehouse,” he said, adding crews are salvaging much more than they thought they would when the End of an Era sale was first proposed.