Buildings at the rear of the old ADSS on Burde Street

Old ADSS demo was ‘right choice’

Once workers started tearing down the old Alberni District Secondary School the guts of the facility showed why demolishing it made sense

Demolishing the old Alberni District Secondary School was the right thing to do, says School District 70 operations manager Greg Rowe.

More than 50 per cent of the old ADSS on Burde Street has been bulldozed down since the operation started in July.

The classrooms in the rear of the building are gone. The auditorium, gymnasium and classrooms on the north side of the building are set to come down.

The cafeteria and old library aren’t scheduled for demolition.

“The district may have found some other value in those, I don’t know. I just know it’s not part of the demo,” Rowe said.

During the new high school discussions, some opponents of demolishing the old school lobbied for it to be renovated instead.

But demo workers discovered that this was easier theorized than done when they got past the husk of the building during the tear down.

old ADSS gym“There were leaks in the roof all over the school and the water pipes and electrical were degrading,” Rowe said.

“You see this to a certain extent with some other schools. But in this case, in my opinion it (demolition) was the right choice.”

Workers uncovered more asbestos than was originally planned for, Rowe said.

“The school has undergone a lot of renovations over the years and this explains some of it,” he said.

“Most of it is in the auditorium. But it isn’t uncommon to find these things in older schools.”

The issue has delayed the tear down, which is expected to be completed by May 2014.

The former steady stream of people stopping to watch the tear down has waned, Rowe said.

“There’s still a bit of interest but it’s tapered off. Hardly anyone comes.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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