A donation from Coastal Community will help the HUB make two upstairs rooms usable. (submitted)

Coastal Community grant helps build “A Hat for the Hub” at Cowichan Station

“The upper floor has been closed to the public since 2007”

A donation from Coastal Community will help the Cowichan Station Area Association complete the transformation of The Hub into one of the most energy efficient community centres in the Cowichan Valley, using the clean and green geothermal heat system.

Coastal Community recently awarded $11,000 through its Building Healthier Communities Fund to the Cowichan Station Area Association.

When the 100-year-old Cowichan Station school closed in 2007, the community quickly realized the potential to transform the heritage building into the hub of the region, offering community spaces for recreational classes, live music, fundraisers, small businesses — and especially free or affordable programming aimed at improving the lives of rural youth and seniors.

From 2011 to 2017, community volunteers renovated the ground floor of the buildings, which now provides welcoming spaces for over 500 people weekly. The CSAA’s new initiative is to provide “A Hat for the Hub,” restoring two spacious heritage rooms on the upper floor and installing insulation to prevent the geothermal heat from leaking out the roof and walls.

“The HUB is a wonderful example of a community coming together to prevent isolation and create healthy opportunities for its residents,” said Allyson Prescesky, senior manager, Community and Communications, with Coastal Community. “We’re proud to support the CSAA’s work to expand their usable space in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way.”

“This historic schoolhouse has long been the ‘hub’ of Cowichan Station but the upper floor has been closed to the public since 2007 and we are really looking forward to changing that,” said Jill Thompson, fundraising chair for the Cowichan Station Area Association. “Once restored these sunny rooms overlooking the fields and forests of Cowichan Station will be beautiful sustainable spaces serving the whole region. We are grateful for the generous financial support from Coastal Community Credit Union. The community is working hard to raise the remainder and welcomes people to get involved.”

Since 2014, Coastal Community’s BHCF has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in seed money to help dozens of local organizations fund long-term initiatives that contribute to building healthier Island communities. BHCF looks for projects that support a broad range of people, are sustainable and make a difference to a local community.

For more information on the Building Healthier Communities fund, please visit www.cccu.ca.

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