School district turning old Chemainus Elementary site over to North Cowichan

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Cowichan School District 79 is in the process of turning the former Chemainus Elementary School property over to the Municipality of North Cowichan.

District secretary-treasurer Bob Harper said first and second reading has been given to transfer the site for $1.

Before that happens, "we have some survey work to do on the site,'' said Harper.

The reason it needs to be subdivided is the current secondary school and the old elementary site are on the same parcel of land, Harper said.

After third reading of the bylaw, it will go to the Ministry of Education for approval.

"Once that approval is given, it's done,'' said Harper.

North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure said the third reading is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Uses for the site remain undetermined, though ideas include a skate park, dog park, youth centre, and a housing development.

"It's premature to go into detail. Once we have it, we'll look at what we can do, and I'll ask council for a neighbourhood meeting," said Lefebure.

"Council hasn't dealt with this (uses) yet because we haven't actually got the property yet."

The school has existed on the site since the 1930s. The property was transferred to the school district in 1960 in trust for educational purposes.

Once it was deemed no longer necessary for educational purposes, the plan has always been to revert the property back to the municipality.

With declining enrollments and other factors, the district has long concluded the site won't be needed in the long term for educational purposes.

"Our conclusion is, 'No,' we have the new elementary site, we have the existing secondary site,'' said Harper.

— with a file from Peter W. Rusland

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