A year after its bid to purchase land in Powell River was rejected by the Agricultural Land Commission, an international school has inked an agreement to buy 10 acres of land from the coastal municipality.
Sino Bright International has signed a contract with Powell River Waterfront Development Corp. (PRWDC) to purchase the property near Brooks Secondary School.
PRWDC president Wayne Brewer said the agreement is for $300,000 and well above the appraised value. The parcel will be subdivided from an 80-acre property.
PRWDC, which is wholly owned by the city, has received a $30,000 deposit from Sino Bright, and the sale is to be completed by August 2019.
Sino Bright had previously looked at locating its school on another parcel of property adjacent to Brooks, but the provincial Agricultural Land Commission turned down an application to exclude the property from the Agricultural Land Reserve.
“It was so important that we not lose Sino Bright and let them slip away to another community,” Brewer said. “This is really important for Brooks Secondary School because it enhances opportunities for all students. Our graduating numbers have been dwindling over the past few years, and having foreign students coming in really helps keep our school viable.”
School District 47 superintendent Jay Yule supports the deal.
“We are fortunate that the city and Sino Bright have found a solution that allows Sino Bright to create needed student housing that will enhance our partnership and grow the program,” said Yule.
According to Yule, Sino Bright will build dormitories before classrooms, with students initially having their academic studies at Brooks, which has an international students program.
The property was not widely known to be for sale. There were three other offers on the land, two for the entire 80 acres, and the other for half and they all came in under the appraised value, according to Brewer.
The school is expected to generate approximately $10.5 million of economic activity in Powell River each year and diversify the local economy.