By David F. Rooney
School District 19 finally has approval from the Ministry of Education to dispose of its three surplus schools: Big Eddy, Mountain View and Mount Begbie.
In a February 27 memo to the Board of Trustees, Associate Superintendent Anne Cooper said she received approval from the Ministry on February 15 for the district’s request for permission of dispose of the sites.
First one on the block is the old Big Eddy School. The Revelstoke Boxing Club, Army Cadets and the Red Cross, which had all used the building, have since moved to new homes.
“To assist the district in the disposition of the Big Eddy site, the District engaged Kelly Gresner of Landworks Consultants Inc.,” Cooper said. “Kelly visited Revelstoke during the week of January 28… to acquaint herself with the property and has met with City Planner John Guenther regarding redevelopment processes.”
The district has applied for rezoning of the property into residential lots similar adjacent properties.
Cooper said she and Earl Woodhurst, SD 19’s director of operations and technology, have planned an Open House for between 4 pm and 8 pm on Wednesday, March 13, at the Columbia Forest District office at 1791 Big Eddy Road.
“We are currently assessing the merits of having the school demolished t facilitate the sale of the property,” Cooper said. “A tender is being placed on BC Bid for the removal of hazardous materials and the demolition of the building, which will give us more information to assist in making this decision.”
Mountain View will be the second site up for sale. However, it will not be totally demolished. The outlying structures structures will be razed but the original building will be preserved, as will a “modest green space” and some off-street parking.
The district is seeking a community partner to acquire and operate the original high school.
“In order to secure the funds committed to the capital project, we will be working with the City of Revelstoke to develop a supportable plan for mixed-use development,” Cooper said.
Once Mountain View and Big Eddy have been dealt with, it will be Mount Begbie’s turn.
“We beleve there may be ap otential for some mix of residential/commercial/public use,” Cooper said. “A portion of the school is currently being used by two community groups: the Rocky Mountain Rangers (Cadets) and the Revelstoke Boxing Club.”