MLA Doug Routley chats with early childhood educator while outdoor activities continue at Parkside Academy in the old Somenos School on Hall Road. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Parkside Academy future unclear as district ponders future of Somenos school site

Parkside had been leasing the site for the last five years

The future of the Somenos school site and Parkside Academy is up in the air and officials with Parkside Academy Society’s early learning centres are hoping the public will help them advocate for their cause.

“On Monday Jan. 27, the Cowichan Valley School District is holding a public meeting to discuss the future of the Somenos School site,” explained a notice from Parkside Academy’s director of Programs, Adriana Soler. “Topics will include whether they retain the school and property as part of their inventory, put it up for sale, or lease it on a long-term basis.”

Parkside had been leasing the site for the last five years and wants to stay there long-term. The school district is looking at its options in terms of sale or lease. The school district confirmed the meeting in a press release, and said they are collecting “feedback on the options for the future of the school.

“The board is looking forward to discussing the next step in this process for the school with interested community members,” the release said.

“Obviously, the school district’s decisions about the future of this site will have a profound impact on us,” Soler said. “Parkside is asking for a commitment from the school district to honour its stated goal of supporting early learning and to work with Parkside to create a win-win solution that will allow Parkside to continue to operate and flourish for the long-term at the Somenos site.”

Soler said her group would like to show “strength in numbers” and have as many people as possible attend the meeting in the Somenos school gym (3039 Sprott Rd.) starting at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 27.

Founded in 2005, Parkside Academy is an early learning childcare centre serving children aged zero to 12.

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