J. H. Boyd Primary School was built in 1962. (Carolyn Prellwitz, Cowichan Valley Heritage Society)

J. H. Boyd Primary School was built in 1962. (Carolyn Prellwitz, Cowichan Valley Heritage Society)

Derelict J.H. Boyd property posing danger: Lake Cowichan council

Old school building prone to illegal uses

Councillor Tim McGonigle says the J.H. Boyd property is posing a risk to life and limb.

He talked about it at town council’s committee of the whole meeting on Sept. 6, saying they’ve “reached the last resort” on the derelict property.

“I did send this in for the committee agenda to pose this for tonight to start discussion on what we can do, with the recent fire call there, and heavy fire danger that we’re currently in, that could have been a very serious interface with the possibility of people being hurt or displaced because of fire being spread,” McGonigle explained.

“I think it’s time that we incorporate a demolition bylaw or some process. I know it’s the last resort that we’d like to do but that property is becoming a problem for transient accommodation, illicit use, illegal drug use etc. I think we are incumbent after that fire call and previous fire calls that have been at that property, to look at either implementing a demolition order or taking it upon ourselves and charging the owner the price.”

It was staff’s belief that no letters have been sent to the property owner recently and no bills have been sent to the owner related to the fire call-outs.

“I think we need to let the owner know that we are concerned about the property and some of the things that could occur there,” McGonigle said.

Coun. Kristine Sandhu asked for a report from the fire department, RCMP and building inspector with regard to their thoughts on the property and their recommendations, and for staff to assess that report and bring back to the council table in October.

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