The Town of Qualicum Beach to remove St. Andrews Lodge from the waterfront property that will be turned into a public park. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)

The Town of Qualicum Beach to remove St. Andrews Lodge from the waterfront property that will be turned into a public park. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)

Town of Qualicum Beach to remove old St. Andrews Lodge building

Staff: Cost for renovation could be more than a brand-new house

Qualicum Beach council has decided to move forward with the relocation or demolition of the old St. Andrews Lodge building.

The decision was first reached in-camera on Oct. 14 but was brought up at council’s regular meeting on Oct. 28, where it was discussed and carried. Coun. Robert Filmer and Coun. Adam Walker were opposed.

“First of all I think we shouldn’t have decided in-camera,” said Filmer, who wanted to include public debate in the decision process and for council to reconsider its position.

Coun. Teunis Westbroek indicated it would be against town policy if council rescinded a motion that has already been put into effect by town staff. Chief administrative officer Daniel Sailland confirmed Westbroek’s statement.

Filmer asked how council could be comfortable having the project forge ahead without enough information released to the public on how much it will cost to retain and renovate the building.

“We let the public know that we’re coming up with a plan, whether it’s demolish, relocate or use and then we’re going to go back to let them know this is what we’ve decided,” said Filmer. “Instead, what has happened it is that we’ve decided in-camera that we’re going to get rid of this building. And they see this on the agenda that it’s been done and now they’re hearing a week later that it’s been actioned.”

Mayor Brian Wiese said they have been transparent of their plans as they held a request for proposals to let the public know of what they intend to do as well as went through a lengthy public consultation process.

“What we’re doing is exactly what we said we would do,” said Wiese.

Coun. Scott Harrison indicated there is a report on how much it would cost to keep the lodge. On June 24, staff presented a report to council that showed it would cost $545,000 to renovate and upgrade the building to today’s standards; with a usable space of 1,514 square feet plus 72 square feet of storage space. Staff said there’s other cost not factored in and it would be more expensive than most new homes.

The report pointed out the town would unlikely recover the cost of the renovation even it were used for commercial purposes. To demolish the building, it would cost the town approximately $40,000.

Harrison also added that a majority of the people involved in the consultation process indicated they would not support retaining the building if the cost is going to be significant.

“To say that the process is wrong is a little bit misleading,” said Harrison.

RELATED: Elizabeth Little Waterfront Park proposed in Qualicum Beach

Walker asked council to delay execution of its decision and that they submit an application for funding of up to $2 million through the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Programme. However, the deadline was Oct. 29. Walker indicated that he had two or three volunteers who was willing to work with staff on the application overnight.

The Qualicum Community Education and Wellness Society, a non-profit group, wanted to work with the town in preserving and maintaining the lodge. They’ve cited other heritage buildings that operated through partnerships with non-profit societies such as the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park in Comox, the Mollie Nye House in North Vancouver and the Baldwin House in Burnaby.

To pay for its planned renovation, the society was planning to submit an application to Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure) and was seeking the council’s endorsement. But the town also applied to the same program for its community playing field upgrades.

QCEWS is now asking the public to voice to town council their opposition to demolishing the building, built in 1938.

“QCEWS was not asking for the town to redirect staff time or capital funding plan – only for the opportunity to show what can be done when community comes together (based on a model similar to the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park in Comox),” the group stated on its website. “Currently, there are many grants available to not-for-profits and local governments for tourism, heritage, accessibility, recreation and economic recovery.

The town purchased the waterfront property from the estate of Elizabeth Little for $3.4 million in 2018. The plan is to turn it into a public waterfront park that include pathways, improved beaxch access, viewpoints, sign system and ways to engage in the site’s history.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

historyqualicum beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach resident Harold MacDougall won $75,000 off a Casino Royale II Scratch & Win ticket, purchased the ticket at Qualicum Foods on Memorial Avenue. (BCLC photo)
Qualicum Beach man $75K richer thanks to scratch-and-win ticket windfall

MacDougall plans on trips to Cape Breton and Scotland

Regional District of Nanaimo will be receiving $1.17 million from the B.C. government in COVID-19 safe restart grant money. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo directors getting started on budgeting decisions

Proposed tax requisitions for 2021 range from 7.3-per cent increase to 2.2-per cent decrease

David Darmadi, owner of Kalvas - The Log House restaurant, is offering a sweet initiative for SOS. Guests can bring in a new, unwrapped gift or financial donation for SOS, and receive a free dessert. (Lissa Alexander photo)
Sweet initiative to support Parksville Qualicum Beach residents

‘A lot of our guests are very generous and they want to help out’

The property at 113 and 161 Island Highway is currently being dismantled as the developer attempts to salvage ‘usable’ lumber for their development application to the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Development application delayed for high-profile Parksville property

Council refers application to staff for further improvements

(File photo)
RCMP warn of counterfeit bill use in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Police have received four calls in November regarding bogus bills

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Most Read