Sale of school board land for Victoria Hospice clears first hurdles – Vancouver Island Free Daily

The proposed sale of land adjacent to Lansdowne Middle School in Saanich hit a hurdle on Monday.

At its Jan. 24 meeting, the school board narrowly approved the first two readings of a bylaw approving the sale of 1.9 acres at 2780 Richmond Rd. to Victoria Hospice for $2.5 million.

Representatives of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association (GVTA) and the Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (VCPAC) are among those who have opposed the sale of Lansdowne Middle School, South Campus, formerly Richmond Elementary.

“We are concerned about the sale of school district property in any event,” GVTA President Winona Waldron told the board. “School district ownership is not returning and we have a growing district.”

Angela Carmichael, president of VCPAC, said the organization and the parents oppose the sale of the land on several levels, but mainly because it is a known watershed. She asked the council not to move forward until she could meet with its members, scheduled for Tuesday, January 25.

The protection and remediation of the daylight-lit segment of Bowker Creek that runs along the triangular lot was a concern expressed by other community members.

If the sale is approved, the property would be used as a new center of excellence for Victoria Hospice, with space for expanded services including bereavement support, community education and hands-on programs for people with a fatal illness and the bereaved.

A presentation at the start of the meeting by Kevin Harter, CEO of the Victoria Hospice Society, outlined a design intent to protect and sustain Bowker Creek.

Some directors hoped to defer the vote on the settlement to the February meeting, in order to gather more information on this presentation.

Administrator Nicole Duncan made a motion to defer the vote on the bylaw until the February meeting, so that everyone has a chance to review the proposed design. This request failed before the successful request to advance the sale.

Administrator Elaine Leonard noted that the reason for the spacing between readings is to allow time and provide an extra month for information gathering.

The third reading of the by-law is scheduled for the February 28 school board meeting.

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developmentGreater Victoria School DistrictVictoria Hospice