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Qualicum School District plans to close 'commons' as rental facilities

Final decision will be debated at June 25 board meeting
Craig Street Commons in Parksville.

Qualicum School District is looking to close Qualicum Commons and Craig Street Commons, with between $4 million and $5 million worth of capital work needing to be addressed.

The school district closed four elementary schools in 2014 due to low enrolment, including Parksville Elementary and Qualicum Beach Elementary, now known as  Craig Street Commons and Qualicum Commons, respectively.

Since that time the facilities have operated have operated predominately as rental space for outside organizations, according to Ron Amos, secretary-treasurer for the school district.

“As we sort of parsed out the information on the capital needs on these sites, we’ve kind of indicated that there’s about $3 million worth of capital costs associated with Qualicum Commons and about $1.8 million associated with Craig Street Commons,” Amos said during the Board of Education’s May 28 meeting. “And so what we’re proposing to the board is, that by definition of having it on the agenda today, we’re giving notice that the discussion will move forward in June for consideration to the board.”

Organizations such as independent schools, day cares, community support agencies, dance studios and local businesses have all benefited with the access to these facilities to run their operations, according to Amos.

The facilities have been run at a mostly neutral cost to the school district, with costs for utilities, custodial wages and supplies, insurance and some maintenance covered.

Capital costs in the millions now need to be addressed, according to Amos, such as new roofing, HVAC units, electrical systems and boilers.

Because these are non-educational facilities, they are not eligible for funding through the Ministry of Education and Childcare Capital Program, so the work would need to be funded by the school board.

The board voted to publicly give notice during the meeting that it is considering the closure of both Qualicum Commons and Craig Street Commons to public and business use to be effective July 1, 2025.

The final decision will be debated at the June 25 board meeting.


Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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