If all goes according to plan, Whistler Waldorf could break ground on its new, 26,000-square-foot permanent home in Wedgewood as early as next summer. But school administrators have also identified possible alternative sites in case the original plans fall through.
School administrator Vicky Bunbury said it's too early in the process to reveal the other sites being explored, but the project team has been working with the municipality in identifying three possible sites other than the originally proposed parcel in Wedgewood, just north of Emerald.
Bunbury said the school is doing its due diligence in considering other sites and that Wedgewood remains the preferred home for the new school, which is slated to open in 2017.
"To be centrally located in Whistler is a very attractive option, but there are so many other factors involved," Bunbury said. "Most of the large chunks of land in Whistler come with various covenants, so they're complicated, they're expensive and some are easier to build on than others. We just feel that the Wedgewood site at this point, looking at all of the sites, is one that we just want to keep moving forward on."
As a non-profit school, Bunbury said project cost would be a major consideration of any future sites.
At a recent board meeting, SLRD officials revisited an earlier vote that determined the Waldorf's rezoning application would require a major amendment to the SLRD's Regional Growth Strategy (RGS). A new vote in favour of making the proposal a minor amendment was considered, a move that should eliminate some bureaucratic hurdles facing the project if approved.
First reading of the RGS amendment is set for the Nov. 24 SLRD board meeting, as well as first presentations of the rezoning process.
Whistler Waldorf's new school is expected to house up to 346 students.