After 99 years in businesses the Oak Bay Guest House on Newport Avenue is closing shop.
Last month Glenlyon Norfolk School (GNS) announced it is taking over the building. The school released plans on its website to lease the building and “accommodate a family-style, home-away-from-home for approximately 24 students between the ages of 13 to 18.”
Two staff house parents and their families will reside full time in the home with the youth and be responsible for student oversight and care.
The owner of the Oak Bay Guest House declined to comment on Monday until the agreement is final.
“We are excited to embrace the heritage of this property and look forward to maintaining this facility in the highest standard,” said Chad Holtum, head of school. “As the development of citizenship is foundational to our school curriculum, we are very excited about this opportunity and look forward to playing a respectful and vibrant role in this Oak Bay neighbourhood in the years to come.”
Only live-in staff will have vehicles at the property and not students, Holtum said, minimizing parking impacts.
The move aligns with GNS’ family boarding program.
GNS remains committed to acting as a day school with a small boarding component, said the release.
GNS currently has 35 international students and this will bump it to 60.
“While the majority of our students are likely to be international, we also hope to attract students from B.C. and Canada who would love to have the GNS experience but live beyond practical commuting distance,” said the release.
At the outset of the pandemic the Oak Bay News reported that business for the Guest House was down 50 to 60 per cent.