New hospital site in Courtenay causing concern about student safety

The Comox Valley's Board of Education discussed this week how to keep nearby students safe during and after hospital construction.

While the public hearing to rezone land slated for the new Comox Valley Hospital was going on Tuesday, the Valley’s Board of Education was discussing how to keep nearby students safe during and after hospital construction.

Queneesh Elementary School at 2345 Mission Rd. is close to land proposed for the project.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, SD71 secretary treasurer Russell Horswill noted district staff have met with the school’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and decided to create a sub-committee.

“The purpose of that committee is going to be primarily to look at student safety concerns during the construction, as well as the post design,” said Horswill, adding the committee plans to meet frequently to stay ahead of the issues and relay information to parents.

District staff have also been meeting with City of Courtenay and Vancouver Island Health Authority staff regularly. Horswill noted the next meeting is planned for Dec. 4.

Trustee Rick Grinham noted he would like to see overpasses at Ryan and Lerwick roads to make the area more safe for students. Horswill said Grinham’s suggestion is on the list for the Dec. 4 meeting.

Trustee Janice Caton said she heard there will not be a treed buffer area between the hospital properties and the school property — as originally planned.

Horswill confirmed the information, adding the area was assessed and the risk of blowdown was deemed too high, and the plan is now for no buffer between the properties.

SD71 director of operations Ian Heselgrave later told the Record the area directly next to the school will still have trees because the school is set back from Lerwick Road and is more in line with the college than the hospital site.

He added the site is expected to be cleared early in the New Year, but then no further construction work is planned for over a year until the Request for Proposals process is over.

“So we’re going to have a little bit, I’ll call it a three- or four-week period of activity, and it’ll be idle for 14 months,” said Horswill.

He also noted the district has had preliminary discussions with VIHA around establishing a protocol for lockdown of the construction site in case, for example, the school believes a child could be on the site.

“So if ever we lose Johnny or Jane and we’re not sure where they’re at, and we’re worried that they have gone away from the school site and may have been interested in that crane, that we have a mechanism in place to bring the construction to an immediate halt,” said Horswill. “So we’re starting to probe the protocols now to make sure that we have actions in place to do the best we can to ensure student safety.”

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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

Just Posted

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Tentative COVID-19 vaccine site chosen in the Comox Valley

B.C. is moving into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 mass immunization plan

Cumberland is considering downtown densification proposals, and with that comes questions around parking, among other things. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Water bottling ban, parking key changes for Cumberland zoning

Bylaw on amendments still need adoption following March 2 hearing

Arzeena Hamir, working her booth at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. LUSH Valley was recognized last month as a partner of the year by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Photo by Bill Jorgensen
LUSH Valley recognized for collaboration with Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

They won Partner of the Year award by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Chelsea Harry was last seen Feb. 21. Photo via Comox Valley RCMP
Comox Valley RCMP seeking help locating a missing woman

Missing person last seen in Courtenay on Feb. 21

A Coast Range Cannabis store has been approved for the Crown Isle Shopping Centre in Courtenay. Photo submitted
Courtenay council approves seventh cannabis retailer

Coast Range Cannabis to open second store in the Comox Valley

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit small B.C. towns and beyond

Canadians find their butter was getting harder, blame palm oil in part one of this series

Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Ongoing Bamfield roadwork unrelated to planned $30M fix

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade ordered in wake of fatal bus crash

Preliminary design for a new composting facility at the Campbell River Waste Management Centre is ready to share with the public. Photo supplied
Facility to enable curbside organics collection in Comox Valley, Campbell River

The preliminary design for a new composting facility being built at the… Continue reading

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Island communities asked to join forces in seeking help fighting illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Most Read