It’s been a long time coming.
The old Crofton Elementary School building is finally being demolished.
“The demolition of Old Crofton Elementary School has gone smoothly and we are nearing the end of the removal and restoration of the property,” noted Candace Spilsbury, chair of the board of education for School District 79. “The board is extremely pleased, and we know the community is as well, that we will be able to move forward on a decision on the use of the property very soon.”
The goal was to have the removal project completed by the end of March and they’re right on schedule.
Demolition funding of $650,000 from the provincial government, announced in late September, was the final catalyst to help bring the old school building down.
Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley and Spilsbury were on hand at the old school for that funding announcement.
It’s been more than a decade of graffiti and sketchy activity at the site since the old school was abandoned in 2009 and a new elementary school opened in Crofton on York Avenue.
Clarification that School District 79 owned the site only came in April of 2019. North Cowichan, the Crown and the school district had all contributed pieces to the original 1948 school site.
The board then queried the public in May about what to do with the old school and possible demolition became a reality when the funding was confirmed.
The school board has not yet decided what to do with the property once the old building is torn down.
“After years of inaction we’re finally going to bring the funds necessary to support this community in improving its condition and I’m pretty happy about that,” Routley said at the September funding announcement. “It’s a small item for government but it’s so important for the community. These are the ones that really make a big difference for me personally.”
– with a file from Sarah Simpson, Cowichan Valley Citizen