The original Oak Bay High School in 1915.

The original Oak Bay High School in 1915.

Well, with a University, a College, and a plethora of grade schools within our borders, we’d certainly like to think we’re a neighbourhood of learning!

The Oak Bay High School redevelopment design is underway, and so too is the application for additional community space adjoining and within the new school. What will that space entail? We don’t know, but the design team would sure like to hear what you think.

Without your input and strong community support, we may miss out on the chance at additional funding from the Ministry of Education. The Neighbourhood Learning Centre idea is that a community has access to a school after school hours, so the space gets used as much as possible, and the community has access to space for recreation, leisure, learning, and community building activities.

In Oak Bay’s case, the new school funding formula doesn’t include a theatre, so we’ll lose our 450 seat theatre when the old school is demolished. Obviously, we’d all like to see the students and community get back what they have now in the school. Ensuring that a theatre and dance studio are included in the new building has so far been the highest priority established by the community consultation process. It’s the priorities for the rest of the additional space that we need to determine as a community.

Will it be space for a community kitchen, child care, a teen centre, a larger library branch to serve both the needs of the high school and the community (our branch has been identified as due for replacement within ten years)? There are many options available, and we need to make some very big decisions for the future of the community.

Our library branch will need replacement in 10 years.

Our library branch will need replacement in 10 years.

Please take the time over the next week to visit one of the Open Houses, to learn about the project, and share your vision for Oak Bay’s future.

Saturday, October 2, 2010 10am–Noon Windsor Park Pavilion
Sunday, October 3, 2010 1–3pm Monterey Recreation Centre
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 7–9pm Oak Bay Recreation Centre
Thursday, October 7, 2010 7-9pm Oak Bay Recreation Centre

More information on Neighbourhood Learning Centres can be found at: www.neighbourhoodlearningcentres.gov.bc.ca