Aerial view shows A.B. Greenwell facility is at present isolated from the surrounding residential areas, unlike the current location of Lake Cowichan public works, which is right next to houses and a school. (Google map)

Aerial view shows A.B. Greenwell facility is at present isolated from the surrounding residential areas, unlike the current location of Lake Cowichan public works, which is right next to houses and a school. (Google map)

Town inches closer to acquiring A.B. Greenwell School

Lake Cowichan is looking for a new home for its public works yard at old A.B. Greenwell site

There has been a lot of interest in Lake Cowichan about the future of A.B. Greenwell School, and the Town of Lake Cowichan’s move to get hold of it and some of the land is moving forward, with only one hurdle left.

The site is located up behind the Hundred Houses subdivision and the town is looking at it as a new home for its public works yard, currently located downtown at the corner of Wilson and Grosskleg, right behind the firehall.

“The process to acquire the A.B. Greenwell property was conditional on a number of issues being satisfied. We still have two requirements that are still outstanding,” Lake Cowichan CAO Joe Fernandez reported to town council on April 24.

A subdivision plan was prepared some time ago, and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) has some requests about divvying up the land that won’t be transferred to Lake Cowichan that need to be referred to the B.C. Land Surveyor for his action.

“The other required condition is for the town to indemnify the province and school district,” Fernandez said.

Council decided that the town wants to acquire a portion of the A.B. Greenwell property, “together with improvements previously known as A.B. Greenwell Elementary School” which the town “acknowledges has been declared surplus by the ministry of education”.

Councillors already are aware of the condition of the building through reports made available by the board of school trustees that identify mould and asbestos as problems in the structure.

The town wishes to use the place for “a public works yard and fire training facility”.

Since FLNRORD is the statutory authority that can actually dispose of the property and buildings, the town agreed to assume and indemnify the school district, MOE, and FLNRPRD for any costs and liabilities whatsoever from the town’s ownership of the land.