UVic To Purchase Arbutus Rd Properties From Sisters of St. Ann

Property purchase will mark legacy of shared values and history

The Sisters of St. Ann and the University of Victoria—in keeping with a shared history and a shared commitment to education and health promotion—have signed an agreement in principle that will see UVic purchase the Arbutus Road properties. The six-hectare wooded properties at the corner of Arbutus Road and Queenswood Drive house St. Ann’s Residence (a care facility for the Sisters of St. Ann), Queenswood retreat centre and a small dwelling. Pending final approvals, the properties are expected to transfer to UVic in June.

“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with the University of Victoria regarding the future of this site which has served us well for more than 40 years,” says Sisters of St. Ann Province Leader Sister Marie Zarowny. “As we move into the future our priorities are the care of our Sisters and the continuation of our mission. This sale has the capacity to serve both purposes.”

UVic and the Sisters have been in discussions about the potential for UVic to acquire the properties since June 2008. There will be no immediate changes for the Sisters who have the option of continuing to live in the residence until January 2013, and the Sisters of St. Ann have been actively planning the transition.

“This is an excellent fit for both organizations,” says UVic’s Vice-President Finance and Operations Gayle Gorrill. “UVic and the Sisters, who have supported the university since its inception, share many values consistent with teaching, research and community engagement. We are excited about the opportunities for UVic over the long term to use this property, within walking distance of our main campus, to directly support our academic mission.”

As part of the proposed sale arrangement, the future of Queenswood retreat centre has been an important consideration since the beginning. Queenswood Society for Spiritual Growth plans to continue delivering community programming according to an existing agreement with the Sisters of St. Ann that ends Dec. 31, 2010. UVic and Queenswood are currently exploring potential arrangements for a longer-term presence for the retreat centre on the property.

“The university educates people who, like the Sisters of St. Ann, work in education, healthcare, and social services,” says Queenwood’s Executive Director Kate Fagan Taylor. “Queenswood helps people to be effective and healthy spiritually, physically and emotionally in these demanding careers. We’re seeing significant partnership potential for the good of the community. Our hope and current plan is that Queenswood will be able to continue beyond 2010 as an ongoing legacy of the Sisters of St. Ann.”

No significant changes in use of the property are proposed for the immediate future. UVic is committed to consulting with neighbours before proposing any substantial changes to the use of the property in the longer term.


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Keywords: uvic, purchase, arbutus, rd, properties, sisters, st, ann

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