Documents obtained by Esther Callo, co-founder of FOVH, through a Freedom of Information request that shows an eight-metre easement, to make way for a housing development, that spans 192 metres across the grounds which makes the promised eight-lane track impossible. (Provided by the Friends of Vic High)

Documents obtained by Esther Callo, co-founder of FOVH, through a Freedom of Information request that shows an eight-metre easement, to make way for a housing development, that spans 192 metres across the grounds which makes the promised eight-lane track impossible. (Provided by the Friends of Vic High)

Alumni Association abandons plans for eight-lane track at Vic High

SD61 spokesperson says easement, which makes 8-lane track impossible, left out of consultation

The Victoria High Alumni Association has abandoned the plan for an eight-lane track at the school and is welcoming the alternative two-lane walking track due to the high price tag attached.

The issue was brought forward after a group of alumni, separate from the Alumni Association, who call themselves Friends of Vic High (FOVH) asked for a public inquiry into Memorial Stadium Revitalization Project (MSRP), which they said was “significantly changed without full disclosure to the public.”

The MSRP, spearheaded by the Vic High Alumni Association (VHAA) in 2012, was estimated to cost $6 million for lights, an all-weather playing field that would replace the grass field, along with an eight-lane 400-metre track that would replace the 400-yard track, a field house and new bleachers.

More than $500,000 has been raised for the project, which is now estimated to cost $7 million, including $165,000 from the Alumni Association, $100,000 from the Bays United Football Club and $250,000 from the City of Victoria.

The FOVH obtained documents through a Freedom of Information request that shows an eight-metre easement – to make way for a housing development – that spans 192 metres across the grounds and makes the promised eight-lane track impossible.

RELATED: Vic High stadium plans drop promised 8-lane track to ‘barely wider than city sidewalk’

Donna Lomas, board chair for the VHAA, said the reality is that while the VHAA continues to pursue the original fundraising goal – it is unlikely to be met. Lomas added that the schematic drawings of the proposed field renovations that show two-lane track that FOVH has said is “barley wider than a city sidewalk,” were “well-received” by the VHAA, adding that the they will continue to pursue an artificial turf field.

Lisa McPhail, a spokesperson for the Greater Victoria School District, said the project has gone through “extensive consultation from start to finish,” which began in 2018 with consultation on the seismic options. According to McPhail, last fall there was another consultation process around the disposal of land which would result in additional funding for the school’s seismic project, leaving SD61 with $1.5 to $1.9 million to fund additional amenities.

READ ALSO: Completion date for seismic upgrades to Vic High pushed to 2022

Consultation proceeded on how best to use the additional funding, which found that the community wanted these funds to be focused on an astronomy deck, fitness-health classroom enhancements, along with upgrading the memorial stadium.

McPhail said the expansion of the track was not recommended or passed by the school board due to the high cost, which was estimated to be approximately $7 million. As per board policy on property disposal, the easement was not included in the public presentation.

A screen shot taken on Oct. 22 of the Victoria High Alumni Association showing the continued promotion of an eight-lane track. (Victoria High Alumni Association website)

The FOVH point to the fact that as of Oct. 22, the VHAA continues to promote the eight-lane track on its website as proof that the decision was made behind closed doors. According to Stephen Dorsey, a spokesperson for FOVH, any association that raises funds through donations from the public has a “fiduciary obligation” to disclose changes.

“It’s like if they raised money for a new school bus and then without disclosure, went ahead and bought a Mini Cooper. It’s just not done,” he said.

“Why would they not disclose this publicly … so that all parties could chime in? And some who donated would have had the opportunity to make a decision to ask for their donation to be returned, as the new plans did not deliver to the visions they were supporting.”


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

sd61

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Documents obtained by Esther Callo, co-founder of FOVH, through a Freedom of Information request that shows an eight-metre easement, to make way for a housing development, that spans 192 metres across the grounds which makes the promised eight-lane track impossible. (Provided by the Friends of Vic High)

Documents obtained by Esther Callo, co-founder of FOVH, through a Freedom of Information request that shows an eight-metre easement, to make way for a housing development, that spans 192 metres across the grounds which makes the promised eight-lane track impossible. (Provided by the Friends of Vic High)

Just Posted

A cyclist was knocked off their bike in a dooring incident on Oak Bay Avenue at Fell Street at around 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday. (Matt Dell Twitter)
Cyclist ‘doored’ on Oak Bay Avenue

Incident occurred at Oak Bay Avenue and Fell Street

The growing field lacrosse program at Royal Bay Secondary has produced a number of scholarships for its players to American universities, starting in the fall 2021. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Five Royal Bay students sign Lacrosse scholarships at U.S. universities

“It’s a village that raises these kids,” says lacrosse coach

Sidney and Central Saanich fire crews responded to a small fire at Eurosa Farms Tuesday evening. (Courtesy of Ryan Worsfold)
Small fire extinguished at Brentwood Bay flower farm

Family-run business sprang into action after smelling smoke at Eurosa Farms

Air Canada Jazz flight 8075 on Nov. 18 and 8081 on Nov. 19 from Vancouver to Victoria have been added to the BCCDC flight exposure list. (Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 exposures reported on two flights from Vancouver to Victoria

Air Canada Jazz flights on Nov. 18, 19 have been added to BCCDC exposure list

The Grinch was spotted on a tractor in Metchosin Monday morning, an early welcome for the holiday season. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTO: Grinch arrives early for the holidays in Metchosin

Send your favourite Christmas decorations to Black Press Media

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Bob Higgins pulls the gate across on the elevator built inside his home. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Island man’s expertise earns international award with home-built elevator

Experience put to use in winning contest entry for furniture and home projects

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

Most Read