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

Sooke woman is ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at Thetis Lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Throwback Thursday: Shamrocks revisit the 1950s with new uniforms

Victoria team introduces its new white jersey for the 2019 70th anniversary season

BC Transit offers high school grads free bus rides

2019 grads can choose two days in June to ride for free

Sooke stop for African Children’s Choir

Concert date is June 2 at Sooke Baptist Church

The strange case of Jesokah Adkens

All was not what it seemed in Sooke girl’s disappearance 18 years ago

600 new campsites coming to BC Parks

Province announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Building a close-knit community in Sooke

Knit 2 Purl Together a community event

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

Most Read