St. Joseph’s Art Studios are located in the former St. Joseph’s School building. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Art studios remain with no sale of former St. Joseph’s School property

Island Catholic Schools keeping its options open beyond December

The general consensus around Chemainus is the former St. Joseph’s Elementary School building currently housing the St. Joseph’s Art Studios has been sold.

But Keefer Pollard, the former principal of the school and district principal of Island Catholic Schools that owns the building, says that isn’t true.

“The school has not been sold,” he indicated. “We have informed the artists that most likely there will be no change until at least Christmas, so, barring unforeseen circumstances, they can feel secure in their rented space until then.”

St. Joseph’s Art Studios was created last year where artists rent previous classroom space to showcase their art, display items for sale and offer various classes to the public. A grand opening of the rejuvenated facility was held May 1, 2019.

Related: Art studios make an impression on the community

Island Catholic Schools has kept its options open for the future of the site.

“Island Catholic Schools has begun exploring what we will do with the property,” Pollard confirmed. “We want to ensure that St. Joseph’s Church can remain on the property and provide a place of worship for North Cowichan residents.

“Beginning last December, we met with the Parish Council to broach the idea of what we should do. We formed an Options Committee and are currently exploring options for moving forward. Unfortunately, restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have slowed down our progress as it has hindered our ability to meet.”

Related: New gallery space opens at St. Joseph’s Art Studios in Chemainus

Many former students and teachers at St. Joseph’s found a new home at Queen of Angels School in Duncan.

St. Joseph’s Elementary was a well-known Catholic School in Chemainus that served the community from 1964 to 2018.

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