If early feedback is any indication, the Revelstoke School District’s plans for the old Big Eddy Elementary site should be met with little local opposition.
The district showcased plans to re-zone the school site to low-density residential from institutional and then sub-divide the property into seven half-acre lots at an open house at the Columbia Forest District Office Wednesday evening.
“Without exception people are thrilled to hear we’re proposing single family lots,” said associate-superintendent Anne Cooper, who is handling the disposition of the old school sites.
Just to be sure, I looked through the seven comment forms submitted by the time of my visit a little after 5:30 p.m. They were all from Big Eddy residents and all were in favour of the school boards plans.
“We like the proposed residential R2A,” wrote one person. “The size of the lots seem to be in accordance with our property.”
Others expressed satisfaction it wouldn’t be sold to a developer or be re-zoned for industrial use.
The school district is required to earn $2.4 million from the sale of Big Eddy, Mountain View and Mount Begbie Elementary schools.
The open house featured maps of the neighbourhood and street, and maps showing the land-use outlined in the Official Community Plan as well as the current zoning. The OCP shows the land-use is set out for duplex-residential and the zoning of the surrounding area is R2A, low-density residential.
“What we’re trying to accomplish in terms of Big Eddy redevelopment is to be fully in compliance and consistent with the Official Community Plan,” said Cooper. “We’re saying we’re going to be consistent with how its already planned in the OCP, which people seem very pleased about.”
The district is in the process of working with the city on the re-zoning application. The plan to sub-divide the lots is contingent on the school being demolished. A contract to do the work has gone out to tender and the cost should be known by mid-April, said Cooper.
What happens if the building can’t be demolished? “Who knows?” replied Cooper.
“Until we know a firm price to demolish it we can’t say that we are,” she said. We have to take into account a wise division of how we’re going to net proceeds.”
If all goes forward as planned, the district hopes to have the lots on the market in July.
Once the re-zoning for Big Eddy Elementary is complete, the school district will start looking at Mountain View. “It will be significantly more complicated,” said Cooper.