Re: proposed closure of Qualicum Beach Elementary School (QBES).
We chose to move to Qualicum Beach a year and a half ago because we wanted to live in a small town with a strong sense of community and a good elementary school.
We arrived just in time for our daughter to start Kindergarten. We are now really discouraged to hear that her school, QBES, is slated for closure by School District 69. Many of our friends are talking about moving away should QBES close.
Before moving here from Nanaimo, we were concerned about the lack of young families in Qualicum, but we saw plenty of children around when we visited the centre of town: Qualicum Foods, Storybook Village and the playground at QBES. During that trip, we made up our minds to move here. A boarded-up elementary school in the heart of town will not attract young families to the area.
We love Qualicum because it is a thoughtfully-planned community. It’s a pleasure walking around the downtown core, free from chain stores and strip malls. We enjoy walking to town to shop at local businesses and the farmers’ market. We buy nearly everything we need locally.
We also enjoy walking with our daughter to the elementary school and chatting with our neighbours along the way. How safe would it be for elementary school age children to walk from town out to the Qualicum Beach Middle School (QBMS) site along a shady trail?
We’re concerned that relocating QBES students to QBMS or Arrowview, combined with the recent small business closures in Qualicum, will make the downtown core a sad, depressing place. We hope that the school board will allow QBES to remain open in the heart of our community.