Workers renovating The Old School House arts centre in Qualiucum Beach have run into an unexpected problem, says public works head Al Cameron.
For the past month, town staff have been working to repair the foundation, doors, drainage and rotting structural framing to save the heritage building.
The scope of the renovation expanded to include the replacement of failing perimeter drains however, when town staff found more extensive deterioration and non-standard installations.
That’s a problem, Cameron said in his report to council, because those perimeter drains are only accessible by removing the sidewalk bricks.
Those bricks, he continued, include 1,001 engraved bricks that commemorate donors to the TOSH facility.
“Unfortunately, due to the type of brick used — thin and soft to facilitate engraving — the bricks have suffered damage over the years and cannot be removed without suffering further extensive damage.
Cameron said staff have no choice but to remove the bricks by hand, in order to save as many as possible. He said staff will not be able to use those bricks when the pavement is redone.
“It is planned that a new plaque or plaques, recognizing the financial contributions, will be installed in TOSH,” he said in the report, noting TOSH staff have prepared a list of the donors for the new plaque.