Lansdowne Middle School property eyed for new French school

B.C.’s francophone education authority is looking to purchase land adjacent to Lansdowne Middle School to build a new school.

The Conseil solaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF) hopes to buy about three hectares of the 10-hectare Lansdowne site to provide a permanent location for l’École Beausoleil, home to 86 students from kindergarten to Grade 3.

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The sale is contingent on public consultation by the Greater Victoria School District.

The CSF has leased space from the district for the past six years for l’École Beausoleil in the former Sundance Elementary, but the lease ended in June 2020. The CSF was granted an extension to June 2021, but the space will reopen in September as a district elementary school to meet growing need in the area, based on the district’s 2018 review of school-catchment boundaries.

CSF board chairman Patrick Gatien said working to acquire the Lansdowne land “represents an important milestone” in ensuring access to francophone education in Victoria. “This land will allow us to build a school that will permanently accommodate the growing school community of l’École Beausoleil.”

Greater Victoria School Board chairwoman Jordan Watters said the board is pleased the land will be used for public education, and that it was able to help the CSF find a permanent home. “This will provide many generations of students access to francophone programming, while also bringing benefits to the Greater Victoria school community.”

The CSF and the Education Ministry are working on a short-term solution for l’École Beausoleil until the new school is available.

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