Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley and Cowichan Valley School Board chair Candace Spilsbury were thrilled to announce provincial funding to demolish the old Crofton Elementary. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley and Cowichan Valley School Board chair Candace Spilsbury were thrilled to announce provincial funding to demolish the old Crofton Elementary. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Old Crofton Elementary to be demolished

Community eyesore will be gone by the end of March

After years of vacancy, graffiti, and speculation, the fate of the old Crofton Elementary school has finally been determined.

With the help of $650,000 in demolition funding from the provincial government, the old school building is coming down.

The goal is to have the removal project complete by March 31, 2020.

SEE RELATED: Public meeting being held on future of old Crofton Elementary School site

SEE RELATED: Residents cleaning up dangerous mess at old Crofton Elementary

SEE RELATED: Crofton group brings in Routley to press for action on old elementary school site

SEE RELATED: Petition being circulated to demolish old Crofton Elementary building

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley and SD79 board chair Candace Spilsbury were on hand at the school Friday amidst a hailstorm — complete with thunder and lightning — to announce the funding.

“After years of inaction we’re finally going to bring the funds necessary to support this community in improving its condition and I’m pretty happy about that,” Routley said. “It’s a small item for government but it’s so important for the community. These are the ones that really make a big difference for me personally.”

It’s been 10 years since the final students finished their time at the old Crofton Elementary. That school shut its doors for good in March of 2009 when the new Crofton Elementary on York Avenue opened.

“The old school here is unusable and has become a safety hazard for many people in the community,” Routley said. “The people in this community deserve better and I hope they’re going to be getting it.”

Since its closure, the building has been a haven for mischief.

When School District 79 learned in 2017 that the potential was there to demolish the building they set to work officially closing the building.

“We came together as a board and a community and a government to try to do something with this building,” Spilsbury said. “We have heard concerns for a long time that there was arson, graffiti, long grass, people living here at one point, climbing the roof… all of those concerns came up.”

In April 2019 it was clarified that SD79 owns the site — there had been a legal opinion commissioned on the site title as North Cowichan, the Crown and the school district had all contributed pieces to the original 1948 school site.

That put SDS79’s school board in charge of finally deciding what to do with the old school. The board queried the public in May about possible demolition and on Sept. 27 funding to do just what was announced.

The school board has not yet decided what to do with the property.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Larry Fiege, right, from Fiege’s Farm shows a rapt audience the old-fashioned way to tap a Bigleaf Maple during the Maple Syrup Festival at the BC Forest Discovery Centre Feb. 1 and 2, 2020. (Andrea Rondeau/Citizen)
Maple Syrup Festival in Duncan cancelled

The annual syrup festival is a popular event at the BC Forest Discovery Centre

The Lake Cowichan Legion received federal funding in December, 2020 to help the organization weather the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan Legion receives federal COVID-19 assistance funding

Can be used for expenses such as insurance, utilities, rent or mortgages, property taxes, and wages.

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Do you know someone who should not be driving?

We are currently living about 10 years longer than our ability to drive safely.

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: Time to slow down to speed up

In a society where we learn (are forced?) to multitask like crazy

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read