Keep school lands

The vultures are circling our decommissioned schools (The NEWS: What’s next for buildings?, May 6).

The vultures are circling our decommissioned schools (The NEWS: What’s next for buildings?, May 6).

But wait, hold on. Let go of the capitalist agenda and look to what good can be done for the citizens.

Let us maintain the vacated schools, repurpose and diversify, for when they will be needed again, by having yearly leases. Parksville’s population will reach 25,000 to quote Mayor Chris Burger, what then?

With modest, reversible renovations all of the redundant schools could house business interests and rent paying non-profits. The gymnasiums could be occupied 16/7 with recreational pursuits that governments are always promoting.

The land could be fenced off and plotted out for fee paying landless residents and struggling families to grow food. The existing community garden is full.

The Woodwinds school program could easily relocate to Parksville Elementary.

And we are already talking about the homeless, so let’s actually do something, as in other Canadian cities, instead of using some $56,000 grant to study their plight.

It was interesting to see Qualicum Beach outdistancing Parksville in their effort to save their school. Ratepayers in other cities have fought and saved their schools from the wrecking ball, one for 45 years.

Hospitals engage in lotteries for expensive equipment, why not our educational facilities? Or ask for some of the $1 billion they dole out! Could teachers and superintendents take a pay cut?

The salmon spawn cycle is four years, they return. Has anyone done a projection on our birth rate and also the potential for child bearing families moving into the many housing developments going on at present?

Gord Byers


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