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Children and families will be able to use the Ecole Davis Road School site as a properly maintained community park and recreation site for at least the next five years, thanks to a new agreement between the Town of Ladysmith and School District 68.
“I am so pleased to be able to make this announcement. The proposed closure of Ecole Davis Road School three years ago was a big motivator that led me to get involved in community development and local government issues,” said Mayor Aaron Stone.
“While this agreement won’t re-open the school, it will mean that the Bonnie Marshall playground, the fields and forest area will be properly maintained and put to good use by the community. We greatly appreciate the cooperation of the School District Board and staff to make this happen for our community. This is an important step in building a stronger relationship between our community and the School District 68 team.”
Under the terms of a new rental agreement, Ladysmith will rent the site for $1.00 a year, and Town staff will take over maintenance of the field, adjacent forest, parking lot and playground equipment surrounding the former school. The agreement does not apply to the building.
The Davis Road school site was identified in Ladysmith’s new Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan as an area of significance. The community told the Town the site is a high priority as much-needed park space for the neighbourhoods south of Holland Creek. Ladysmith also plans to look into options for using a portion of the school field as a fenced, off-leash dog park. This is something local residents have wanted for a number of years, and was also confirmed in the new Master Plan.
The new community park site will continue to be open for public use as the Town and School District staff work to transfer maintenance responsibilities.