Neighbourhood associations want to explore options for Victoria’s former Blanshard Elementary site

Residents want more community focus for CRD-owned land at 950 Kings Rd.

A new library, community centre or childcare centre could be coming to the Hillside-Quadra area – at least that’s the hope of local neighbourhood associations.

The land parcel at 950 Kings Rd., which hosts the former Blanshard Elementary School building, is the focus of an upcoming community rally organized by the Hillside-Quadra (HQ) Collective and supported by the the North Park Neighborhood Association (NPNA) and the Hillside-Quadra Neighborhood Association.

ALSO READ: Victoria Curling Club, arena parking lot considered for new Crystal Pool location to save greenspace

In 2015 the Capital Regional District purchased the plot from the Greater Victoria School District as a buffer in the construction of the neighbouring site at 955 Kings Rd. There, the Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) is building The Summit, a 320-unit residential care facility for seniors living with dementia. In the meantime, the CRHD has been using the land as a staging area for the construction site, and parking space for project contractors. Upon purchase, the CRHD committed to initiating public engagement to decide on the land’s future use, but local residents are concerned about losing green space.

“We see it as a park being lost,” said Allison Ashcroft, board member of the NPNA. “It’s a green space in part, and also the gym and services that they’re able to offer to the Quadra Village Community Centre (QVCC), which is at full capacity.”

Currently, the school’s gymnasium is being subleased by the City to the Quadra Village Community Centre for events and activities, including cultural and athletic programs, while the second floor is being leased to the Vancouver Island School of Art. Their leases are up in 2021.

“We’ve been told that there’s basically a plan to not extend the leases for ourselves or the Vancouver Island School of Art,” said Kelly Greenwell, executive director at the QVCC. “But, we’ve been actively engaging with the city council about securing some kind of ongoing expanded community services centre.”

ALSO READ: Oaklands residents fight for greenspace allotted in ‘gentleman’s agreement’

Ashcroft argued that the fastest-growing neighbourhoods in the city are North Park, Harris Green and Hillside-Quadra and that the neighbourhood demographics are the least wealthy and least served parts of the city.

“We need to make the best use of public assets,” Ashcroft said. “Particularly for a marginalized community.”

Now that construction on The Summit is wrapping up – with an anticipated opening date of 2020 – other uses of 950 Kings Rd. are being explored.

“Some of the ideas I’ve heard include proposals for an allotment garden, a library branch or proposals for child care spaces,” said Hillside-Quadra liaison Ben Isitt. “The idea of a park with a community centre located in it has been the most popular.”

Isitt noted that expanding the Quadra Village Community Centre is one of the items on the City’s Strategic Plan and that adding more community resources to the area would be an opportunity for alignment between the City and the CRHD.

The CRD told Black Press that at this point there are no official plans for the site.

The rally will happen on Sunday, Feb. 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 950 Kings Rd.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Oak Bay instructors teach free outdoor yoga classes at Willow Beach Park

Practise yoga for free Tuesdays at 6 p.m. all summer

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of Saanich couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

Nanaimo man wanted Canada-wide after walking away from Victoria halfway house

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

Sixties Scoop settlement tour stops in Victoria

The information session takes place on July 24 at the Sandman Hotel

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

POLL: Do you use a food delivery app?

With modern life becoming more hectic with each passing day and so… Continue reading

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Most Read