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

Young cyclist struck near Galloping Goose Trail

Minor injuries reported by police

Increasing cloudiness with a high of 12 C for today

A look ahead at this week’s forecast

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

The shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

West Shore RCMP better than municipal police forces, mayors say

West Shore municipalities funding more officers and civilians at local detachment

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

But while Mueller fully ruled out criminal collusion, he was more circumspect on presidential obstruction of justice

Ice climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall on Vancouver Island

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

Tofino woman beseeches town for nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

B.C. doctor reprimanded for accessing medical records without consent

Doctor admits to accessing records of the woman carrying his child

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Edmonton judge to rule on whether Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Canada’s top court ruled punishment handed Khadr for alleged acts committed in Afghanistan when he was 15 was to be a youth sentence

Kootenay city councillor starts nationwide climate caucus for municipal politicians

Climate Leadership Caucus has 57 members including seven mayors

Most Read