Two companies planning major developments in Port Edward will now call the former Port Edward Elementary School home.
Pacific NorthWest LNG will pay $3,000 per month to sublet the school from the District of Port Edward, who are currently leasing the building from the Prince Rupert School District, while PTI Premium Camp Services will pay $1,000 per month for office space as they work on developing the work camp in town. Pacific NorthWest LNG will also pay a lump sum of $27,500 as part of an agreement to cover the cost of utilities until a lease could be worked out.
However, the $3,000 being paid by Pacific NorthWest LNG will primarily cover the cost of maintenance and utilities and not result in much of a financial gain for the district. While Councillor Knut Bjorndal said the district was “renting them a building for nothing”, Mayor Dave MacDonald said the real benefit is that the building will not become run down.
“The school district was going to shut it down and board it up … we’re leasing it to them to keep it open and keep it from becoming an eyesore. We don’t want it to be like King Edward School where people were breaking in and it was an unsightly property,” he said.
“I think this is a win-win, and the best we can do at this point.”
According to chief administrative officer Ron Bedard, the companies will soon be moving into the building.
“The good part is that we have both proponents with offices in the community. They may not be open full-time, but they should be staffed a few days per week at least,” he said.
With the lease signed, Pacific NorthWest LNG will have a office space in both Prince Rupert and Port Edward, with work continuing on the space in the Capitol Mall.