The Courtenay Train Station will receive some much-needed attention — starting with a new roof.
“We are going to be definitely putting a new roof on, and Rotary will do that,” says Courtenay Rotary’s Art Meyers, who is overseeing the project for Rotary. “That’s effective immediately — it rains harder inside the building than it does out.”
During an early-February tour of the heritage building, stationmaster Wayne Murphy pointed out water-damaged areas upstairs and on the main floor of the building.
He estimated the roof had been leaking for the past five or six years, and the damage was visible in numerous places on the ceilings, including one spot where light was visible through a hole.
The Island Corridor Foundation owns the building, and the foundation’s Graham Bruce explained the leaking roof was not the only problem, noting plans for a full building assessment late February or early March to see if it would be worth saving at all.
According to Meyers, that assessment showed the building is “sound,” and Courtenay Rotary is working out an agreement with Island Corridor to do some of the improvements on the building.
Meyers says the Rotary Club already has enough money to fix the roof, and plans are in motion to do so as soon as possible.
“We’re looking for good weather right now, and we’ve got some quotes that are coming in,” he says. “We will choose the contractor because we won’t be having Rotarians crawling around on a roof…so we’re just in the middle of that as we speak, and as soon as that’s approved and the Island Corridor signs off, we’re doing it.”
Rotary also plans to replace the deck on the east side of the building, which Meyers notes is in such disrepair it’s dangerous, and the whole building will receive a new coat of paint.
“We’re going to go with the absolute, exact colour that was originally there and that’s now documented across Canada,” adds Meyers, noting it will be a specific hue of red.
Meyers notes further interior improvements are a possibility as well, but that work is still being discussed with the foundation.
Although Courtenay Rotary has enough money to replace the roof, it will be busy fundraising for the other repairs.
The club’s annual online auction will be a main fundraiser for the project, as well as for the next phase of the Rotary Trail, which runs alongside the railway tracks.
The auction runs from April 1 to 30, and features many items to bid on including a townhouse. For more information on the auction visit www.clubrunner.ca/courtenay.
Built in 1914, the station was given heritage status by the City of Courtenay in 2002, and some sort of centennial celebration is expected next year.
Meyers notes the train station improvements are part of a joint effort between the City of Courtenay and Rotary, with help from Deborah Griffiths from the Courtenay Museum, “to beautify the whole area around there.” He says the project will include murals on the buildings that back onto the train station site, too.
“So (the train station repairs will) be in keeping with upgrading the entire area, and making it a true heritage site,” he says, adding Rotary wants to take special care to ensure the train station is fixed up in time for it’s hundredth anniversary.
“It is a heritage building and we’re going to certainly make sure that it’s there for the next 100 years.”
Meanwhile, the Island Corridor Foundation hopes to start work on the train tracks this spring, and have some passenger service restored by spring 2014.