The sale of the Belmont Secondary School property to Sobeys is “the final piece of the puzzle” for financing two new West Shore high schools, says Sooke school board chairwoman Wendy Hobbs.
The school district announced the completion of the $23.25-million sale on Thursday. All of the money will go toward the new schools. The rest of the school funding comes from the provincial government.
Sobeys, the parent company of Thrifty Foods, intends to put a mixed-used development on the 8.5-hectare site adjacent to the Westshore Town Centre.
Belmont, which is more than 50 years old, will be torn down and replaced by a pair of schools, including a new $54-million Belmont at the site of the former Glen Lake Elementary. The second new high school, called Royal Bay Secondary, is valued at $40.8 million and is under construction on district-owned land in the Royal Bay area.
Both schools are scheduled to open in September 2015.
The Belmont land is being leased back to the district so that the school can stay open until the new schools are complete. The district’s bus yard and facilities building on the southern edge of the property will be relocated within 30 months.
The school district office, next to the bus yard and facilities building, was subdivided from the larger parcel and will remain intact.
“What happens thereafter is really to be determined, it depends on market conditions, retail conditions and so many other factors,” said Thrifty Foods spokesman Ralf Mundel.
“This land is just a perfect fit for Thrifty Foods, for Sobeys, and so it was a natural.”