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Hospice can buy land from Greater Victoria School District

The Greater Victoria School District has an agreement to potentially sell 0.8 hectare of land adjacent to the south campus of Lansdowne Middle School — formerly known as Richmond Elementary School — to the ­Victoria Hospice Society for $2.5 million.
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Map of Victoria Hospice property purchase at Lansdowne Middle School.

The Greater Victoria School District has an agreement to potentially sell 0.8 hectare of land adjacent to the south campus of Lansdowne Middle School — formerly known as Richmond Elementary School — to the ­Victoria Hospice Society for $2.5 million.

The triangle-shaped parcel is separated from the remaining 2.5 hectares of property at the site by a stand of trees.

The sale is subject to Ministry of Education approval and three readings of a bylaw by the Greater Victoria School Board. The sale would then proceed to the land-use approval and public-engagement processes carried out by the District of Saanich.

The land would be used for a new centre for excellence for Victoria Hospice and would feature more services for grief support, community education and programs for those dealing with the end of life. That includes both those who are ill and those who are bereaved.

Victoria Hospice has served the community for more than 40 years.

“The demand for end-of-life care programs and services is growing,” said hospice chief executive Kevin Harter. “Victoria Hospice must adapt and expand to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our community. This agreement with SD61 is an important step in realizing our goals.”

Proceeds from the sale would go toward renovating and replacing existing district schools, including working toward net-zero energy buildings and other energy-efficiency strategies.

“We will be pleased if this land can be utilized for greater community benefit while flowing dollars directly back into improving our facilities for students and staff,” said board chairwoman Ann Whiteaker. “The district needs to make significant investments to minimize our environmental impact.

“Over the short term and long term, we have schools that will require significant upgrades, and we need to start allocating our dollars now to fund carbon-neutral schools.”

An online information session will be held on Nov. 3, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Details are at sd61.bc.ca.

The possible sale follows last week’s approval of the $15-million sale of about three hecatares of land on the grounds of the main north campus of Lansdowne Middle School to the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Columbie-Britannique — B.C.’s French-language school district — for a new French school that will be called Ecole Beausoleil.

jbell@timescolonist.com