Now you see it ... now you don’t ... The old government building was demolished last Tuesday after a decision earlier in the year by the district that it was irreparable.

Now you see it ... now you don’t ... The old government building was demolished last Tuesday after a decision earlier in the year by the district that it was irreparable.

Old government building in Vanderhoof torn down

The old B.C. government building was demolished last week after the District of Vanderhoof deemed it economically irreparable earlier this year.

The old B.C. government building was demolished last week after the District of Vanderhoof deemed it economically irreparable earlier this year.

The building, located on the corner of Victoria and Church Street, has been around since the early 1950s, and was used for provincial government purposes before becoming a community space about 20 years ago.

The district-owned building had a number of different community groups using it when the District was forced to put it out of action when the furnace broke during this past winter.

Notably it was used for recreational art programs for kids, as the headquarters for Vanderhoof Search and Rescue, Nechako Valley Community Theatre and the Figure Skating Club.

The district had a number of building inspectors check out the building before deciding not to attempt any repairs or renovations.

“There were a number of concerns with it including there being asbestos in the building … it required us to make a decision that it was not a building that we would be able to work with and that the sooner that we distance ourselves from it and look for other options the better,” said Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen.

Before the building could be torn down, all the asbestos had to be removed from inside the structure.

While most of the community groups using it have managed to find temporary meeting places and storage for equipment, many are still worried and keen to find a more temporary solution.

“We don’t have anything in place,” said Annerose Georgeson, a key user of the space and the director for recreational arts program – Arts Umlimited.

She says a number of users will be going along to the next council meeting to emphasis the need for a new space.

“We’re going to meet with the district at the beginning of the next meeting on July 20 … to tell the district exactly what our needs are.

 

“I think they sort of think that we’re okay but we’re not – we have very temporary storage, but operating space is the main problem,” said Georgeson.

Requirements for a new space have been highlighted to the district before in a letter written by the users of the old government building a number of months ago.

Notable requirements for a new community space included arts space with sinks, a gallery space and board room, four individual artist studio spaces with good natural light, a kiln room, a heated car bay for the NVSR rescue vehicle, storage rooms, and a stage among other things.

In the letter, building users expressed their desire for a new, shared community centre.

“The cultural services we provide to Vanderhoof are diverse, and important, and we do this with minimum need for annual support,” it said in the letter.

While the decision has been made to strike a committee to come up with solutions for a new space, so far nothing has been done.

Tom Clement, a member of staff with the district says a decision has not yet been made about what to do with the land left behind after the building was torn down.

“It’s going to be left alone for the moment … there are no plans at this point to do anything with it,” said Clement.

 

I would expect that we would have some discussions in an upcoming meeting … but it wouldn’t be in this years budget so it would be for next years budget,” he added.

 

 

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read