Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Westview property vandalism concerns bring extra measures for SD52

The site of the former Westview School on the city's far west side

If you're walking your dog, you're probably OK, but if you're using a west side property for dumping household materials, or other anti social use. Then the School District is making plans for you.

The site of the old Westview School made for a significant part of the SD52 Board meeting discussion at their mid month gathering of January.

The building which was taken out of the School District education stock in 2010 has for the most part been unused since and the lack of anyone around facility has seemingly given rise to concerning activity around the building at the end of Second Avenue West.

The topic came up following a Report on maintenance and other themes from Operations Manager James Warburton, with Trustee Janet Beil asking towards vandalism and other concerns related to the property.

Warburton  provided some background towards those questions from Trustee Beil and noted of the measures taken to this point to try to keep people off the School property.

He observed that in addition to the vandalism, residents had been using the property as a form of dumping grounds for a number of goods.

Trustee Beil suggested that with a number of concerning activities taking place on that property that proper signage to alert people that there is No Trespassing allowed on School properties.

"It's been a never ending saga to be  painting over the vandals when it happens up there.

We've been watching to see what know of activity is happening,  sometimes people will drive in and they'll drive all the way around the back of the school and we don't know why that's happening. 

So made the decision to put that rope back up to keep stop people from driving in there now.

We have cleaned things up there, people will dump old mattresses, pallets and sometimes used oil and a bunch of thing that we've picked up from around the Westview property" -- Operations Manager James Warburton

Trustee Beil noted of those instances and other concerns that she has about those trespassing on the property while Trustee Horne noted that some residents  from the area use the area for recreation activities, but concurred with the need for signage.

Board Chair Toye noted that they don't have those signs on other school properties, with trustee Beal observing that in this case the school is not in use and that there are significant dangers for the Westview property without more attention from the Board.

"It's a vacant  piece of property, it can't be managed and when it can't be managed we're at higher risk, I mean  if it was like a School property it's a little different that there's students going to the facility 

But there isn't the school is being abused by citizens of Prince Rupert  for activities that aren't conducive to what the School Act is.  Dropping mattresses, drinking, eventually there's going to be a fire and that school's going to be on fire, I'm telling you I'm concerned about that school" -- SD52 Trustee Janet Beil

Units of the Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue Department
were observed at the Westview location this week

For Trustee Horne the issue of the building not being in use is making it a target for those in the community.

"Also graffiti that James's had said as well, so because there's nobody there, people feel that it's an opportunity to come in as opposed to a school that's populated. And I think that based just off of what he saying it would be a good idea to to do, it doesn't have to be anything crazy, but just some signage" -- SD52 Trustee James Horne

The board members then voted to take measures towards the issue at the property.

The full exchange on the topic can be reviewed through the School District Video of the January meeting starting at the 24 minute mark.

The Westview property has been the subject of some past redevelopment plans for the School District, at one time proposed as a new location for the School Board offices.

Those plans found some challenges in 2018 when a land sale for the Kanata School property fell through after the land developer and the City of Prince Rupert appeared to have had a difference of opinion on the development for the site.

The School District at the time noted of their disappointment at that turn of events and the impact that it would have on their plans.

There was no mention of what the future for the property may be as part of the January 15th discussion.

More on the January Board meeting can be reviewed here.

A wider overview of SD52 themes is available from our archive page.

1 comment:

  1. Kanata, Seal Cove, Westview, sell them all and move on.
    They are no longer assets, they are liabilities.