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

Victoria BC Transit driver taken to hospital after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

Art takes a personal tone during the 110th anniversary of the Victoria Sketch Club

The 47th annual art show is taking place until March 24

CRD’s 2019 financial plan includes 23 per cent increase for capital projects

Housing, health care and wastewater projects included in 2019 plan

How a scrawny kid from Oak Bay bulked into one of rugby sevens’ best

Doing it for Dylan, Oak Bay’s Connor Braid at the top of his game

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

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

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Most Read