Demolition of the old Max Cameron Secondary School building will begin next week as School District 47 fulfills its commitments in the sale of land to developers.
Augusta Recyclers Inc. workers were on site Monday, January 31 to set up fences and prepare for demolition work. City of Powell River workers were also present, working on setting up the gymnasium as a standalone building and making sure considerations such as storm drainage are up to code. Other subcontractors are working on plumbing and electrical service for the gym.
Steve Hopkins, secretary-treasurer for the district, said Augusta will be starting demolition once work to leave the gymnasium as a standalone building has been completed. Hopkins said demolition could begin as soon as Monday but it will take some time to complete the work.
The district will retain ownership of the gymnasium and lease the use of the building to Powell River Gymnastics Society. The home of the society has been one of the main considerations holding back the demolition. After searching unsuccessfully for a new home the society has now reached this agreement with the district that will allow the society to stay where it is and the sale of the land to be completed. The gymnasium will also be upgraded aesthetically to make it more attractive on its own.
Consideration is being given to all materials being removed from the building and Hopkins said that anything that is cost-effective to save or recycle will be done. The city will replant some of the vegetation around the building in other locations. The district is particularly interested in the main support beams in the roof which it hopes to remove intact and use either in the construction of the new elementary school at Gordon Park or as material for benches or something else for the district.
“We just wanted to salvage the beams if we could and then there would be some kind of a historical tie,” said Hopkins. “They’re going to do their best to at least give us some of that stuff back.”
The agreement for the sale of the land was reached about four years ago with 3C1B Developments Ltd,. a company owned by brothers James and Daniel Agius along with Warren Behan and Darren Edwards. The land will be used to build multi-family-type housing such as townhouses or condos. Once the subdivision is complete the sale of the land will be finalized, which Hopkins anticipates will happen closer to June.