Open house seeks public input on proposed lease for piece of Victoria High property

Open house takes place at Vic High on Nov. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Greater Victoria School District is looking for public input on potentially leasing a piece of Victoria High School property.

The parcel in question is made from an amalgamation of two vacant city lots and two road closures from the City of Victoria, and one lot from BC Housing to join the district’s property. The tentative plan is to consolidate just over two acres into a parcel and lease it to Capital Regional Housing Corporation (CHRC) for 60 years.

The piece of property in question is “unused excess land” at Vic High, according to a district release.

READ MORE: Land swap deal between Victoria and school district makes room for affordable housing

This move is meant to cover the hefty price tag of seismically upgrading the school and retaining heritage values, which is estimated at $79.9 million. In June 2019, the Ministry of Education promised $77.1 million to the project. This leaves $2.6 million left to fund, which the district is expected to fund. Currently, the high school has an H-1 seismic ranking, which is the highest level of priority for BC.

The district has sought input from the public earlier in June, but plans to make a final decision after the upcoming open house.

Meanwhile, a group of concerned parents and citizens, known as “Save Vic High Lands” has formed against the district. They claim that SD61 is failing to meet Ministry standards.

“The proposed Vic High site will have less than 4.7 hectares of school grounds for a student population of between 1000 and 1100, according to the group’s website. “Today, students have 2.6 [hectares] of available activity space. Tomorrow, they may have as little as 1.15 [hectares], far below the required standards of 2-3 [hectares].”

One of their arguments is that students need to have safe accessible green spaces at their school.

The open house takes place in the school’s Roper Gymnasium on Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 6-8 p.m.

For more information about the project, visit: www.sd61.bc.ca/news-events/community/vic-high-planning-for-the-future/

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
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