School district unveils design

Architect’s rendering: This would be the front view of the new School District #83 administration building. - Photo contributed
Architect’s rendering: This would be the front view of the new School District #83 administration building.
— image credit: Photo contributed

Plans for a new school district administration building at the former JL Jackson school site have been revealed, including the request for city council to waive some servicing requirements.

The proposed building, which would be approximately 2,640 square metres over two storeys, would front Shuswap Street SW. Because only a portion of what’s called ‘Lot A’  – the 3.16-hectare parcel at the south end of the property that is bordered in part by Shuswap, Fifth Avenue SW and Third Street SW – would be needed for the admin building, the school district proposes dividing the lot into three.

Lot 1 would include the administration building proposed for the former site of the J.L. Jackson school, Lot 2 would include the downtown activity centre and Lot 3 would encompass the southern-most soccer fields. It would remain as vacant developable land.

The school district has asked for variances for zoning bylaw setbacks as well as for subdivision and development servicing.

In a letter to council, the school board states “the design and location of the building with a zero-meter setback from the future ‘ultimate road right-of-way’ is well-suited for this location, allows the front entry to be accessible from both the parking and the street and is consistent with the OCP (official community plan) design.”

City staff concluded no negative impacts are anticipated from the reduced setbacks.

Regarding servicing, the school board states it has no issue with providing for off-site services related to Lot 1, the new admin building site, at an estimated cost of $171,200. However, it has requested that all frontage improvements, utility upgrades, service connections and geotechnical reporting be waived for Lots 2 and 3 until a later date, citing practical and financial reasons.

Planning staff partially supported the request, calling for some servicing along Shuswap Street.

Mayor Nancy Cooper and Couns. Denise Reimer and Marg Kentel were the only members of council considering the application at Monday’s planning meeting, so there was no quorum. Couns. Chad Eliason and Debbie Cannon were absent, and Couns. Alan Harrison and Ken Jamieson excused themselves due to potential conflict of interest as school district employees.

With no quorum, the application was discussed and forwarded, without a vote, to the next meeting of council, Feb. 24, for a hearing.


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