The library at the old Alberni District Secondary School will remain standing for now, even though the rest of the buildings at the old school will be demolished, SD70 secretary treasurer Jerry Linning said.
The value in the site is in the land and not in the buildings, Linning told trustees.
The community services building and old cafeteria are being used as storage for equipment salvaged from the old school and set aside to be used by other schools.
Tentative plans will see all of the buildings on the Burde Street site demolished except for the library.
The two-storey building was renovated in the last decade and meets earthquake standards. It’s the best building on the site and will be left intact, Linning said. The building remains minimally heated and maintained, and it is checked by security, he added.
The district hasn’t formally offered the building to the public or community groups; final plans for the area haven’t been made yet, Linning said. Expressions of interest in the building can be submitted to the board office on Roger Street.
The issue of asbestos is complicating the overall demolition. The district is assessing how asbestos, which is considered a hazardous material and that the old buildings are larded with, can be removed in an environmentally responsible manner.
Selling the property also isn’t a slam dunk.
An amendment to the Official Community Plan is required to change the property’s zoning. The school board also must apply to the Ministry of Education to dispose of the property. A consultation process with civic officials and the public must be held regarding disposal of the property.
Trillium Business Strategies, whose expertise was relied on during the building of the new high school, remains involved with the project, Linning said in an earlier interview. Trillium officials are now assisting in determining the best use of the land and with the sale of the property.