Heads up for Fruitvale residents who want to learn about prospects, or have a voice in possibilities for an old school property the village acquired two years ago. There will be a three-hour planning workshop on Saturday, Jan. 18 hosted by the village.
Notably, this is not a drop-in style of open house.
Those interested in participating must arrive at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall at 8 a.m., and stay for the duration.
The event is geared toward introducing Fruitvale residents to the housing team that is leading the project to re-develop the former Beaver Valley Middle School. As well, the objective is to enlighten citizens on what council and the planning group have learned so far in terms of local community needs.
“Together, we will work through the opportunities and constraints of this project site, consider the guiding principles from the project team, and better understand what the community would like to see for this site,” says Mayor Steve Morissette.
“Participants must arrive on time as the workshop will begin promptly at 8:15 a.m., and stay for the duration of the workshop.”
Anyone planning to attend this session is asked to RSVP to village staff by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 250-367-7551.
Through a public foreclosure in January 2018, Fruitvale acquired the old middle school and its adjoining 2.6 acre lot for $149,000.
The following year, the village bought the remaining one acre parcel for $190,000 and now owns the full block between Columbia Gardens Road and Green Road.
At first glance, buying such a large property for $339,000 appears to be a bargain given its prime location near downtown and its close proximity to the elementary school, curling rink, and ice arena.
That said, Morissette previously told the Times that due to costs related to tearing down the school, the property has a negative value upwards of $1 million.
This project, however, is a key revitalization job and a priority for this council, he explained.
“The site has incredible potential to invigorate Fruitvale, build our tax base, sustain our remaining school and support our downtown businesses,” the mayor said.
“Although we’d all like to see it completed ASAP, I anticipate an eight to 10 year timeline to see it fully developed with servicing and housing.”