Brechin United Church has been demolished.
The church on an Estevan Road was knocked down in order to allow for construction of a new church and housing facility.
Reverend Sally Bullas of Brechin United said the last service at the old church was held Easter Sunday. She hopes to be able to move into the new church by January 2020.
“We didn’t have to decommission the building because we’re putting a new one up, but what we did do, on Maundy Thursday, just before Easter, we did do a walk-through of the whole building and acknowledge the spirit of the place … so each room we walked into, we had a bit of a liturgy,” said Bullas. “We had a candle that we lit, so anybody who wanted to be part of that acknowledgement of the grace of the building as it were, we did do that.”
Bullas also said the demolition occurred faster than had been anticipated and Jeff Tims, site superintendent with JBR Construction, said there wasn’t any asbestos, which made the process easier.
“If there was asbestos in the drywall or tile they would’ve had to do a lot more hand abatement … it was originally scheduled for a five-week job and you can see what happened,” said Tims.
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Tims said the basement still needs to be demolished. Everything is still up for tender, but he projects construction could begin in August, he said.
The City of Nanaimo approved a development permit for the church last May and in addition to the new church, there will be a five-storey complex with 74 rental units overall, 38 of which will be affordable housing – 33 one-bedroom suites and five studio apartments.
The affordable housing units are coming thanks to a partnership with the B.C. government.