The Musgrave field near École Willows Elementary School is the proposed site for daycare facilities, but some neighbours are concerned and are fighting against the proposal. (File Photo)

‘No work shall proceed’ on Oak Bay childcare spaces until more consultation completed, says school district

District looking at ‘potential alernatives’ for proposed childcare facilities at Willows Elementary

Greater Victoria School District 61 is still examining different options for childcare studios at École Willows Elementary after neighbours expressed concerns about the proposed facilities.

RELATED: Neighbours concerned over lack of Willows School consultations

At the March 11 SD61 board meeting, the District said it is examining potential alternatives to address community concerns and will provide an update after further consultation.

The proposed facilities, brought forward for public consultation in January, included two new fenced off portables built on Willows Elementary School’s field –Musgrave Field.

The facilities would provide eight spaces for children under three-years-old, 20 group child care spaces for kids younger than school-aged and 50 after-school spaces.

A licensee would operate day to day operations and be responsible for maintenance and upkeep.

But neighbours were quick to express concerns at a consultation meeting Jan. 24.

“Kids should not be in portables, it’s just that simple. Making the school grounds into a trailer park is making an eyesore,” neighbour Michael Yakubowich told Black Press for a Feb. 4 article.

An online petition called ‘Stop destruction of Musgrave field AND support childcare!’ says “more childcare spaces are definitely needed in the Oak Bay area, BUT Willow School’s Musgrave field is the WRONG location.”

It says the buildings would destroy a field needed for students and the community and increase traffic in the area.

The ‘solutions’ listed include relocating the project to the sites of the former Uplands Elementary School or Richmond Elementary School.

Over 200 people have signed the petition as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, but the number is growing steadily.

Lise Johnson, a co-organizer of the petition, emphasized that the movement isn’t about saying no to child care – it’s about considering other options.

“When you remove public green space like that, you never get it back and its a shame to take that step when you don’t need to,” she said. “What we want is for the school district to commit to looking at the alternative sites.”

District staff said they were looking at potential alternatives at Monday’s board meeting, board chair Jordan Watters told Black Press. But the funding has already been approved, specifically for Willows Elementary School.

“We’ve definitely heard the community’s concerns,” she said, adding the District will seek funding for childcare at Richmond, but “there’s no application at this time and [they] couldn’t transfer the [application] at Willows, it’s just not how it works.”

“We certainly do recognize how important green space is.”

Watters said consultations will continue. “Staff are working on some alternatives to mitigate concerns. We’re hearing from the community but we also hear from parents who very badly want quality child care.”

She said an update will be provided before spring break, March 18-29.

RELATED: Childcare expansion: Willows School field would be divided



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Protective human chain to form around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders invited to stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

UVic hosts forum on state of democracy with scholars from around the globe

Forum takes place Friday in Ceremonial Hall in First Peoples House at the University of Victoria

Appeal by Victoria to province for regional police puts pressure on Saanich

Mayor Fred Haynes opposes push for regional policing

City of Victoria announces two more affordable housing projects

The city commits nearly $2M to projects in James Bay and Hillside-Quadra neighbourhoods

VicPD officer saves man overdosing on opioids

The man was found lying on the sidewalk early Thursday morning

Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash sentenced to eight years

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Dump truck driver hurt after highway crash on Vancouver Island

One man airlifted to hospital after collision between dump truck and pickup Friday in Ladysmith

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Most Read