School district pursues legal compensation for Oak Bay High field

School district pursues legal compensation for Oak Bay High field

Oak Bay rugby pitch to be torn up, redone for goal of late spring 2020

It will cost about $150,000 to $300,000 to repair the unusable Oak Bay High grass athletic field.

The pitch was installed in 2015 – when the new high school was constructed – though a field has to sit for about a year before it can become durable enough for sports (the time allows the grass to populate and take root). When Greater Victoria School District 61 and Oak Bay High tested it in September of 2016, it was immediately apparent that the field had too much clay, and that the irrigation pipes weren’t laid deep enough.

“We were in discussions with [the contractor] about remediations… we will enforce our legal rights on this, we disagree on the results of the field,” said SD61 secretary treasurer Mark Walsh. “At that time we immediately saw the draining issue, [however] we couldn’t get the contractor to fix the issues. We couldn’t agree, on the extent of the work necessary.”

As a result, playing soccer, rugby and other wet season sports would lead to persistent muddy areas and other complications.

“We wanted to deep tine the field, the typical aeration where you poke holes in it,” Walsh said. “Unfortunately, the sprinkler system is too high in the dirt so we can’t deep tine as an option.”

And so, the dirt and irrigation will be torn up and replaced.

READ MORE: SD61 looking to have Oak Bay High grass athletic field repaired

“As far as we are concerned the field is not usable for school purposes.”

Repairs have been further delayed as no companies bid on SD61’s 2018 request for proposals.

“We’ll put it out again and we anticipate bids and hopefully that work will start late spring, early summer,” Walsh said.

If so, the field could be usable by late spring in 2020. Oak Bay, of course, has survived by having its soccer teams and other sports activities use Oak Bay High’s all-weather field and the field inside the Jack Wallace Memorial Track by Oak Bay Rec. Centre.

READ MORE: Oak Bay High rugby pitch mired in red tape

“We don’t want to minimize the fact that Oak Bay’s premium athletics programs haven’t been able to play at home,” Walsh said. “We also have a strong relationship with Oak Bay and a joint use agreements, and they haven’t been able to use the field for softball.”

Oak Bay High isn’t the only SD61 school with a problem pitch. Northridge elementary school in West Saanich is going through the a similar problem as we speak, Walsh said.

The standards of the Northridge weren’t designed to the same high performance level of Oak Bay’s. Nonetheless, the school is in a lurch as the contractor went bankrupt mid-project, Walsh said. The district is now left to fix the Northridge field which is behind a year.

“We’re looking to do as much in-house work as we can for future elementary fields,” Walsh said. “We’re never had that issue before.”

travis.paterson@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From right: Brad Cameron, BCEHS superintendent of patient care delivery for Greater Victoria, with primary care paramedics Em Funk, Tyrone Trotter, Fiona Galvin and Peter Hill at the Leigh Road station. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore paramedics didn’t waver when faced with COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Emergency Health Services personnel are this year’s Courage and Bravery Award recipients

February is Black History Month. (Photo: Government of Canada)
Camosun College highlighting Black content with research guide during Black History Month

The collection includes a range of works by Black authors and creators

Amy Morrison was surprised to find a note on her windshield for parking on a public street with no restrictions in south Oak Bay where she works. (Amy Morrison Photo)
Oak Bay resident uses notes to claim street parking

‘You must have noticed, we park in front of OUR HOUSE,’ note writer says

Debra Sheets, a University of Victoria nursing professor, is starting Victoria’s first Memory Cafe program for adults with dementia and their caregivers. (Photo: Debra Sheets)
Memory Cafe Victoria hopes to connect local dementia community

Adults with dementia and their caregivers will participate in weekly Zoom socializing and activities

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read