The District, City of Victoria and Pacifica Housing Society have signed a memorandum of understanding to re-open Burnside School and create new affordable housing on the land behind the school.
The 88-unit development is geared toward moderate-income families with 2 and 3 bedroom units and will include new childcare spaces and programming space for the neighbourhood.
Under the agreement, the City would lease the adjacent land to the north of the Burnside school to Pacifica Housing for a 60-year period at nominal rates initially. The agreement is subject to Pacifica Housing both securing funding and bringing the project through the public consultation and development process.
The School District would complete the seismic upgrade of the Burnside building. The historical school will re-open as the Burnside Education Centre and will house the students and staff that are currently located in S.J. Willis. The building upgrades will include new modern learning spaces and outdoor spaces for students.
The former Burnside Elementary School was planned to reopen as the Burnside Education Centre in September 2017. Due to rising construction estimates, the project has been halted.
The goal of this partnership is to provide a wide range of benefits to the Burnside neighbourhood including new housing, community spaces, childcare services, activation of the site and the revitalization of the Burnside School (built 1912/13). The plan includes underground parking to help maximize public green space and limit impacts to street parking.
The plan fits with the recently completed neighbourhood plan, which envisions the site as a catalyst for the creation of a new urban village at the Jutland and Cecelia Road intersection, with public uses, community space, public greenspace and affordable housing. The site is conveniently located near the Burnside Community Centre, Cecelia Ravine Park and the Galloping Goose Regional Trail and provides good access transit, shops and services.