A plan is in place to develop affordable rental housing and to re-open Burnside School in Victoria.
The city signed a memorandum of understanding with the Greater Victoria School District and Pacifica Housing Society.
The agreement will bring a new affordable rental housing development to the former Burnside School site, geared toward moderate-income families that will include childcare and programming.
?This unprecedented three-way collaboration will provide benefits including much needed family housing and childcare spaces as well as community development opportunities,” says Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, “In addition to supporting the 2016-2025 Victoria Housing Strategy, this proposed development is a great first step toward creating a walkable urban village at the Cecelia and Jutland Roads intersection as envisioned in the neighbourhood plan.?
The 88-unit development on land north of the Burnside school would be leased to Pacifica for 60-years at a nominal rate initially, and subject to the housing society having the funds and taking the project through public consultation.
?Pacifica is excited to be enhancing the Burnside Gorge Community, with affordable market housing for families, child care facilities and renewed public space. We listened to what the residents wanted in the local area plan process, and are pleased to deliver on their aspirations for their neighbourhood,? says Dean Fortin, Pacifica Housing Society Executive Director.
School District 61 would complete seismic upgrades to the Burnside building and re-open as the Burnside Education Centre for students and staff currently at S.J. Willis School.
?We are elated about this innovative partnership that will see the preservation and reinvigoration of the Burnside school and the community. The Board of Education strongly believes our schools strengthen communities and having the opportunity to create a neighbourhood hub with amenities for families, young children and learners is the first step to building a healthy, sustainable and prosperous community,? says Edith Loring-Kuhanga, Board Chair for Greater Victoria School District.
The building was scheduled to re-open last September but was halted due to rising construction costs.
The school was built in 1912 on Jutland Road, but closed in 2006 because of declining enrolment and had been leased to the Burnside Gorge Community Association.
Upgrades will include modern learning and outdoor spaces for students.
The city says development fits with a completed neighbourhood plan for the site with a proposed creation of a new urban village at the intersection of Jutland and Cecelia Roads.
The School District are hoping to the Burnside Education Centre will open January 20190.
No timeline has been given for completion of the housing porject until funding is secured.
A memorandum of understanding has been agreed between the City of Victoria, Greater Victoria School District and Pacifica Housing Society to re-open Burnside School and the development of new affordable rental housing on the site. Photo courtesy Times Colonist.[/caption