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The last month has been a rollercoaster of navigating the logistics of taking over the old Firehall as a potential community workspace. We have had 2 meetings with members of the CVRD and one with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (Crown Land). We’ve met with building inspectors, engineers, architects, and urban planners. As it turns out, taking over the old Firehall is not a simple endeavor. There are several possible routes to take and ultimately we will need to decide which will be the most cost effective and most likely to be approved by Crown Land. One option is to buy the land (and the building) directly from the Crown. Another is to have CVRD maintain the land and the building and apply to transfer the use from a Firehall to another purpose (such as a Hackerspace). Another option is to find another governmental organization to hold the building such as The Ministry of Social Development & Social Innovation. Finally, another option is essentially a real estate transaction that involves charges on the Land Title to good effect in enabling a conveyance of a Crown Grant that was sponsored to a community entity… Head spinning yet? Us too!

We will continue to navigate these muddy waters in hopes that a clear solution will be presented and that this invaluable community space will be saved. It looks like there will be some significants costs to get the building up to health and safety standards. We will be bringing in a code consultant to determine what exactly needs to be done in order for the building to be suitable for our needs. In the mean time we are looking for direct offers of support that we can show both the CVRD and the Crown that this project is supported by the community. If you are interested in supporting this project we are looking for letters of support from community members. You can write to us at hornbyspark@gmail.com These letters will be included in our application to the Crown.

We are also looking for offers of financial support. While we have yet to form an official organization, as the type of organization we form is crucial to the outcome of the type of application we put forth, we are looking to see if/how much financial support might be available to this project. You can email hornbyspark@gmail.com or and let us know if you think you would be able to support this project financially.

Last but not least, check out our new website! hornbyspark.org

For more information or to get involved come out to our next meeting at the Firehall on September 28 at 7:00pm or visit our Facebook page “Happy Hornby Hackerspace”

By Leanna Killoran and Quana Parker on behalf of The Spark, a family friendly community work space and innovation centre.