Military structures to be torn down in Masset

Old military infrastructure in downtown Masset is expected to be demolished by the summer of 2014.

Old military infrastructure in downtown Masset is expected to be demolished by the summer of 2014.

The process to remove former-Canadian Forces Station structures, including an old hospital, barracks, mess halls and recreation facility, was started earlier this year when asbestos was removed from all of the buildings to allow for a safe cleanup.

Bill Beamish, who the Greater Massett Development Corporation (GMDC) hired to manage the project, said the process is now ready to proceed.

“It’s a matter of taking down the buildings now. That’s the next step,” he said.

“We’ll be going out for bids shortly,” Beamish said, adding the demolition is expected to begin in March.

Originally opened as a naval radio station in the 1940s, much of the standing infrastructure was constructed in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the Canadian Forces initiated a station at the site. The Canadian Forces Station was in operation until the 1990s, when it was converted into remote operations.

“When the military decided to depart around 1995, they were going to demolish all of [the infrastructure]. The communities of the Village of Masset, and the Village of Old Massett worked out an arrangement … that the buildings would be left along with a pot of money that would be set aside for their eventual demolition,” said Masset Mayor and GMDC director Andrew Merilees.

At the time, the old recreation centre was being used by the communities.

“It was running as a recreation centre. There was a pool, a gymnasium, a bowling alley, some small rooms and a sauna that we used quite extensively,” Merilees said.

The centre was kept open with interest from the money earmarked for the eventual demolition of the infrastructure. But in 2008, Merilees said the downturn in the economy meant there wasn’t enough interest being produced to cover the basic costs of running the aging recreation centre.

“A number of times the community looked at restarting the centre, but it’s so out of date and expensive to run. We have such a small population, so it hasn’t happened,” Merilees

said.

The GMDC requested a group be formed to determine options for the recreation centre, whether it should remain standing or be included in the demolition. Merilees said the board is expecting the group to present its findings in the first part of the new year.

“The GMDC board has looked at the option, but doesn’t think it’s viable … we want to make sure we’ve given the community every opportunity to evaluate for themselves,” Merilees said.

The old military structures are anticipated to be removed by the end of June.

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

Just Posted

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

North Coast BC NDP MLA Incumbent is seen with her wife Andrea Wilmot and their son Lua, as well as their dog Duncan. Preliminary results on election night Oct. 24 show Rice is in for a third term. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Jennifer Rice is North Coast MLA for third term

Preliminary election results show NDP Majority government

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Poppy donation boxes have been delivered to restaurants, cafes, stores and places of businesses in Prince Rupert by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 127 for the 2020 National Poppy Campaign. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
National poppy campaign restricted by COVID-19

Prince Rupert Royal Canadian legion expects less donations to offer vital assistance to local vets

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read