Two of the workers who have been employed by the Job Creation Partnership grant to work on the upgrades to Lake Cowichan’s Saywell Park began by taking some measurements in the space

Saywell Park upgrades and enhancement project begins this week

New community project in Lake Cowichan:six workers have been hired thanks to a grant obtained by CLEC

This week marks the beginning of a new community project in Lake Cowichan. Thanks to a grant obtained by the Cowichan Lake Centre for Education (CLEC), six workers have been hired and will work on upgrades to Saywell Park that will improve and enhance public facilities for the community.

It’s called the Job Creation Partnership and it is made possible through the Employment Program of B.C., with funding from both the federal and provincial governments.

“It’s really about how the centre performs a role in the community,” said Jennifer Bendell, program coordinator at the centre. “For these individuals its a win-win situation, They know that they are creating pubic facilities that the town will use for years to come.”

Four of the six men who have been hired for the job began last week at CLEC, where they were given the opportunity to obtain the certification necessary these days to be hired for the kind of construction work they will be doing.

“Before they start working at Saywell Park, they are here at CLEC getting their WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) certificate,” explained Dalton Smith, manager at CLEC. “They also have done their OFA – Occupation First Aid certificate.”

In all through the program, there will be six people hired plus one supervisor, for 36 weeks.

Both Smith and Bendell can’t help showing great enthusiasm for the projects they have been able to collaborate on through CLEC over the years.

“Through these grants, partner-ships and special programs our community has benefited greatly,” said Smith, who is proud of their success rate in being able to create jobs for people in the area. “Probably 300 people, part time or full time, have been employed by the Town of Lake Cowichan through us and have gone on to find other work through these projects.”

So what changes will the public be seeing at Saywell Park?

The project objective is to upgrade and enhance the Saywell Park green space to attract and increase recreational tourism for the community. The projects include the construction of new public washrooms, a viewing platform, a swimming dock, picnic tables and the restoration of the 1918 CNR Box Car, adjacent to the Kaatza Historical Museum.

“We got a $250,000 grant,” Smith confirmed. “But that includes contributions as well from the Town of Lake Cowichan, Catalyst Paper, Youbou Lands and the Kaatza Historical Society.”

Smith says these contributions are worth about $80,000 and include materials that will be used in the construction of the different projects.

“These companies have contributed materials and supplies for the box car, the swimming dock and platform, and the public washrooms,” he noted.

Residents of Lake Cowichan can expect to see work commencing in Saywell Park the week of Jan. 7, beginning with the public washrooms.  As well as the crew of six and a superviser, hired as part of the program, Smith says they have hired a local builder, Triosh Contracting, as the general contractor for the project. The first phase of the upgrades will be finished by March 22.

The crew will have no sooner completed the first project, and they will be on to the second phase of the upgrades, the restoration of the CNR box car. The Kaatza Museum and Historical Society will be instrumental in providing guidance for the restoration of the boxcar. Their contribution to this project includes supplying all the wood that will be used to restore it, and for which the completion date is set for June 7.


The third phase will be the construction of a viewing platform and public swimming dock. For this project, Smith says they have hired local contractor Cliff Gibson, who builds and installs floats for a living, as a consultant. Completion date for phase three is August 23.

The last phase of the project is the construction of 10 picnic tables, at which time the 36 weeks will have elapsed and the public will already have been enjoying some of the upgrades to Saywell Park over the summer.



Just Posted

Driver of stolen vehicle caught after fleeing accident scene in Chemainus

Section of Chemainus Road closed until suspect located and eventually taken into custody

Crofton Alternate Water Supply Project eliminates boil water advisories

System takes away the need to utilize Crofton Lake in the event of a disruption to mill source

First-ever Cowichan Bluegrass Festival a hit at Lake Cowichan

With great music, great weather, and great ambience at Laketown Ranch: everyone loved it

Rats edge Arrows in playoff preview

Postseason begins for Cowichan at home on Saturday

Mary Lowther column: Without the bees, there are no crops

Wikipedia explains that the mason bee was named for the way it builds clay nests to lay its eggs.

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

Coming up in Cowichan: Spend Father’s Day fishing, or head to the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Deadline coming to register for class reunion The Cowichan Secondary Class of… Continue reading

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

Nanaimo a prime market for new plane, Air Canada says

Vice-president previews Airbus A220, praises Nanaimo’s growth in passenger numbers

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

RCMP deploys special unit in Comox Valley to combat organized crime

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit spends four days targeting organized crime in Courtenay

B.C. temporarily halts resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

Most Read