AB Greenwell school was closed years ago due to mold problems. Lake Cowichan town council hopes to use some of the land upon which it sits for a public works facility. (File photo)

AB Greenwell school was closed years ago due to mold problems. Lake Cowichan town council hopes to use some of the land upon which it sits for a public works facility. (File photo)

Lake Cowichan council soldiers on in attempt to convert old school grounds

Property is owned by the Crown and in the ALR

Lake Cowichan town council is still working hard to make its goal of a public works facility on a chunk of the former A.B. Greenwell school site a reality.

After years of trying to make it happen, and with a number of significant obstacles to overcome, council recently passed a resolution “to support the Non-farm Use application to the Agricultural Land Commission for use of a 3.1 ha portion of the former A.B. Greenwell school site for a Public Works Facility (indoors), Public Works Yard (outdoors), a Fire Department Safety Practice Area, and a Collector Street along the entire northern edge of the property.”

SEE RELATED: Snag hit in Lake Cowichan’s A.B. Greenwell property transfer

The motion doesn’t at all give a green light to the project, however. There are many hoops yet to jump through.

“It will be submitted to the Agricultural Land Commission,” explained mayor Bob Day of their motion. “This is the recommended process to move this issue forward so that the town is best positioned to take occupancy if and when there is a property transfer to the town.”

The property is technically Crown land and within the Agricultural Land Reserve. Both come with unique hurdles to jump.

Greenwell was originally opened in 1969. In February of 2007, the school was closed due to a mould infestation and students and staff were moved into the vacant Yount school in Youbou which was then closed in June of 2006.

The old Greenwell school was formally closed by bylaw on May 15, 2013 because it was determined to be surplus to the needs of the district as it underwent reorganization.

The province turned down the town’s first application to remove it from the ALR. This next resolution is a different way to approach the request: a non-farm-use application.

“So we wait to see if the application is approved and next would be permission from the school district and the province to approve the transfer,” Day said.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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