Imagine Oak Bay High School as a brand new, energy efficient, light filled, earthquake resistant school. Imagine Bowker Creek as a natural, concrete-free stream, winding it’s way along, bordered on one side by allotment gardens tended by high school students and community members, and the other side by a walking and cycling pathway. Imagine this new Oak Bay High as a hub for our community, with pathways that easily lead to the Village, other neighbouring schools, and the beaches, as a destination for recreation, library and child care services.
The new Oak Bay High can be a place where the youth of our community share their energy and ideas with the rest of us. It can be all this, with enough support from the Oak Bay community. It’s been done before in other communities, with great success. Let’s take the ideas, from the examples such as Brittania in Vancouver, and make them work for us.
What does Community School mean exactly? And what would Oak Bay High School look like using the community school model when it’s rebuilt next year? I had the same questions, and decided that if I was going to be apart of planning a community forum on the subject, I ought to see one for myself.
This week, I had the pleasure of visiting James Bay Community School. I met with Principal Janice Matthews and Community Programmer, Darcy Topinka. I walked out of there inspired and motivated to see this kind of thing happen in our new school. Although James Bay Community School is an elementary school, I think we can learn a lot from what they’re doing there.
They have a good portion of the school to use for community programming, like out-of-school care, seniors recreation and leisure activities, senior’s suppers twice a week, hot lunches for children at the school, and so much more! Knowing that Oak Bay Recreation struggles to find space to run their out-of-school care, and is currently using the Lounge for elementary school children, I could immediately see an opportunity. Open up a portion of the new Oak Bay High for young children, and like James Bay, children at Oak Bay Rec could have a well-lit, comfortable space that opens onto a playground, or green space.
The opportunities are endless. All we need is your input, and energy to make it happen. The Community Association of Oak Bay will bring together representatives from Oak Bay High, Oak Bay Recreation, the Bowker Creek Initiative/Friends of Bowker Creek to answer your questions, and learn what you want to see from this project at our community forum. We look forward to seeing you there!
Oak Bay High Community Forum
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Oak Bay High School