FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cowichan Neighbourhood House finds temporary home
— to move, Fall 2014
April 19 2014, Chemainus, BC — On Wednesday, North Cowichan Council approved a plan to re-locate the Cowichan Neighbourhood House (CNHA) from the Old Chemainus Fire Hall, after the Fire Hall is demolished to make way for the new Chemainus Library. The plan for temporary housing covers rental costs for 4 years and up to $20,000 for moving and renovations. The move will be completed by December 31st.
Previously, the CNHA and municipality agreed on a location and an arrangement was accepted by the landlord of the building next door at 9806 Willow Street. The plan involves the following:
• The CNHA will relocate next door, at 9806 Willow St. in two units, totalling 2,244 sq ft
• The temporary home will be for a 4 year term, counting from Jan, 2015 and include a transition period for moving and renovating, beginning Sept 1, 2014.
• The district of North Cowichan will cover all rental costs for the 4 year term
• North Cowichan will help fund moving and renovation expenses up to $20,000. This involves, among other upgrades, a kitchen that will pass health inspections required for serving the public.
“It will be a temporary and smaller building,” said Malcolm Crockett, CNHA President, “but it will also give us stability for four years.” “We’re hopeful that it will provide enough time to fundraise for a future, permanent building that we can finally call ‘home’.”
The CNHA believes the space is large enough to continue running our Free Store and most programs, albeit at a reduced capacity. Larger events and workshops will be located off site.
The early occupation date will help with easing the transition and also will allow us to hold our October fundraiser for the Cowichan United Way at the Old Fire Hall without disruption.
“Though the deal is a huge relief for us, it does not mean that we are financially better off than we were before the decision to demolish the Fire Hall” said Arlene Robinson, Chair of the Steering Committee. “It simply means that we can continue to run the majority of our programs without the worry of paying new rental costs on top of our regular program costs.”
“We’re hoping members of the community can step forward to help with the renovations” added Arlene Robinson. “We need licensed tradespersons, materials, and general labour.” Those willing to help can contact the office at 250-246-3203; cnhaoffice(at)shaw.ca.
The CNHA Board wishes to thank Mayor Jon Lefebure and the Municipal staff, Dave Devana, Ernie Mansueti, and Mark Ruttan for the many months spent working out an arrangement with us, and to the owners of the building, the Whittome family, for their flexibility and understanding. Finally, we thank the Council members for listening to our concerns over the years and for giving final approval to the arrangement this week.
CNHA office: cnhaoffice(at)shaw.ca; 250-246-3203; www.cnha.ca
Arlene Robinson, Chair of Steering Committee: 250-246-7503 (cell)
Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association
9796 Willow Street, Box 457
Chemainus, BC, V0R 1K0
E-mail: cnhaoffice (at) shaw.ca
Located in North Cowichan, on Vancouver Island. We are a non-profit volunteer run organization
providing community, youth, and family activities, resources & services for
Chemainus, Crofton, Duncan, Ladysmith, Saltair, Penelakut,
and other areas in the Cowichan Valley.