Candace Spilsbury, chair of the Cowichan Valley School District Board of Education. (Photo by Mark Margerison)

Board requesting new site for wellness and recovery centre

Concerns expressed about site’s proximity to numerous school children

The Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District has reiterated its concerns about the location of the new Wellness and Recovery Centre to open at 5878 York Rd. in Duncan.

The proposed site is on a heavily used student route and within a two-block radius of Alexander Elementary, Quamichan School, Cowichan Secondary School, and the soon to be relocated Wendy’s House Strong Start program.

The Board recognizes the community needs the Wellness Recovery Centre and is thankful for the work to make it a reality for the region. However, community health must properly balance the needs of all members of the community and the Board believes the chosen site does not find that balance.

“We know that there are many in our community who need this Wellness and Recovery Centre, and we’re happy that our community has been chosen for this and that they will get the support they need,” said Candace Spilsbury, chair of the Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District.

”However, the Board’s first responsibility is to our students, and ensuring their safety, education and growth. Having this centre located in the midst of three schools and one Strong Start program does not fit with the mandate we have been given by the public.”

The Cowichan Leadership Group strongly advocated for a Wellness and Recovery Centre for the Cowichan Valley, but was not consulted on the location.

The Board passed the following motion in response to its concerns: “That the Board of Education of School District No. 79 (Cowichan Valley) write to Island Health stating that while it supports the Wellness and Recovery Centre initiative it does not support its location at 5878 York Road, and that the Board inform local governments and MLAs of this motion and ask them to support the Board’s request for an alternate location.”

The Board will forward its concerns to Island Health in the coming days and hopes an appropriate solution can be found.

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