Heritage building getting makeover

Building safely operating as work expected to continue until May

Scaffolding is up in front of this First Avenue heritage building while work is underway on a project to improve its facade.

Scaffolding is up in front of this First Avenue heritage building while work is underway on a project to improve its facade.

A $100,000 to $150,000 renovation is underway to replace the facade of the old Chronicle building at First Avenue and Roberts Street.

Scaffolding has gone up in front of the building as work is underway on the project which essentially will see bricks removed and replaced on most of the upper half of the side facing First Avenue.

According to realtor and building spokesman Jayson Deleskie, a refinishing project from 20 years ago that involved sandblasting or pressure-washing created some issues with the mortar that ownership decided needed to be addressed sooner, rather than later.

Deleskie stressed there is no issue with the safety of building and that the businesses inside are operating and should be supported.

“There’s no risk at all there. We have tenants and there are children in the building,” he said.

The refinishing project is expected to take about six weeks

The work will cap off an ongoing transformation for the building, which has recently welcomed two new tenants: Stelur Eatery and the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce.

Work is also going on inside the building for two more new businesses: Arts & Minds School of art and Active Solutions Health & Sport, featuring massage, physio and other body care services. Each plans to open as early as May.

Meanwhile, the occupants were also wanting to address rumours that the building is unsafe.

“This building is completely safe,” Linda Delcourt, a resident of the building said. “I have kids coming and going all day long.  There are absolutely no safety concerns!”

“Hopefully, the work outside will not prevent folks from coming in to dine with us,” Stelur Eatery co-owner and chef Steve White said. “There have been rumours around town that bricks were falling.  I’m happy to say quite emphatically, that is completely untrue.”