The fat lady has sung but the final curtain hasn’t come down quite yet on the old Belmont secondary.
While the old girl may have had her final morning bell ring last month her walls will remain standing until September, when crews will start dismantling this West Shore piece of history.
Sobey’s Inc., which operates Thrifty Foods and is the second largest food retailer in Canada, bought the 21-acre property that the old Belmont school sits on back in the spring of last year for $23.25 million. School District 62 has been leasing the land back as part of a two-year deal that will expire on April 1, 2016.
At the time of the sale, a rezoning application had been approved by the City of Langford to allow for mixed-use development on the site. Matthew Baldwin, director of planning for Langford, said the new owners have yet to apply for a development permit, but have been in talks with the City on what would be required for that permit process.
While the school board office beside Belmont on Jacklin Road office was not part of sale and will remain where it is, the bus yard will be relocated. Work on the new site at 2960 Amy Rd. is underway, and the hope is that it will be operational in October, said Pete Godau, director of facilities for SD62.
As for the old Belmont school, Godau said a tender is open and that a contract should be awarded by early August, with demolition starting in September.
A hazmat team will go through first and remove any materials that could potentially be hazardous, he said, before crews begin demolition and “basically, leave (the land) level for Sobey’s.”
“Seventy-five per cent of the (materials) from the school have to be recycled,” Godau said.
It’s the typical standard in the industry, he added, and shouldn’t be hard to meet with items like bricks to be used as fill.
Replacing the old school, the new Belmont at the site of the former Glen Lake elementary and the new Royal Bay secondary in Colwood are both set to open for the new school year.
“They’re beautiful,” Godau said. “They’re both on schedule for September.”
Both new schools will still require some cosmetic finishing to be done when they open, while Belmont will have construction work to finish on aspects such as a playing field.