It’s still not long for this world, but the demolition of the old South Slocan schoolhouse is not proceeding as quickly as expected.
The 91-year-old building was expected to be torn down this summer — a victim of high maintenance costs, limited use, and the need to maintain access to the community’s water supply on the same property.
However, the removal of lead-based paint is going to cost much more than first expected, and will eat up a reserve set aside for the demolition.
As a result, the Regional District of Central Kootenay, which owns the building, is now trying to incorporate the demolition into a larger project that involves turning the site into a community park. This would allow them to apply for grants that they would otherwise be ineligible for.
“We were looking at the project as a two-step process of demolition and then redevelopment,” RDCK community services manager Joe Chirico said in an email. “We are now planning for a one-step project. The planned demolition is not on schedule.”
Chirico said they are still working on the details and hope to have more to report by mid-September.
The building was used an elementary school from 1930 until 1977. The RDCK bought it for community use in 1987 and it has since been home to a daycare and yoga studio, but rental fees did not pay for its upkeep. Last year, the South Slocan commission of management, which looks after the building, reluctantly voted to demolish it.