Parents look to stop paving set to turn field into parking lot at Victoria elementary school


WATCH: Some parents of students at Margaret Jenkins Elementary School are fighting the school district over a field being turned into a parking lot. Isabelle Raghem reports. 

Dozens of Margaret Jenkins Elementary students chanted loudly Thursday as crews began digging on their school field.

“Save our field, save our field, save our field!”

Signs have been posted on surrounding fences this week reading “Go Green, Not Grey’ and “Save our Field.” Parents are asking the Greater Victoria School District to halt construction at Margaret Jenkins Elementary School where a portion of the grassy field is being torn up and paved over to become 10 new parking spots.

“It’s taking valuable green space from the kids and from the community,” said Carolyn Wick, a parent of a student, “There has been no communication or consultation of the community and the first that we were told about this was just two days ago.”

The district says this comes in part because the school currently has 26 spaces for as many as 70 staff.

“There’s incredible congestion on the street especially mornings and after school as parents are dropping and picking up their children,” said Piet Langstraat, superintendent of the Greater Victoria School District.

The school does have a large field on the opposing side of the school but parents say this side perfect to separate younger students from older ones.

“We just don’t understand why they ask or consult and even just look at alternatives,” added Wick.

The district says the work done Thursday isn’t permanent and could be reversed:

“We have engaged with a contractor and there’s a sizable financial penalty should we withdraw,” added Piet Langstraat.

A meeting will be held at the school’s library Thursday at 7 p.m. welcoming both parents and neighbours to share their concern about the space.

Isabelle RaghemIsabelle Raghem

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